BOMU to stage beauty pageant

Staff Writer
For the first time, the Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is planning to stage a Miss BOMU beauty pageant to promote women participation in the music, according to an official.

BOMU spokesman, Pagson Ntsie said that they have realised that women are still lagging behind when it comes to the local music industry.  The BOMU official said Miss BOMU beauty pageant, which is likely to be held in April or May next year, would be organised by the women's committee.

The beauty pageant will incorporate a fashion parade.  Ntsie said that Afro jazz songbird Nono Siile would coordinate the project.  He said a milling company, Bolux, which will be launching a new product, has shown interest in working with them on this project, and would probably sponsor the pageant. Ntsie said that Miss BOMU beauty queen would be looking at the challenges that women in the music industry face.  In his view, women have not been all that successful when it comes to local music as compared to their male counterparts.

He sees the pageant as one of their major projects.  It will cover all the districts.  To him, this will be one of the projects aimed at taking BOMU to the people.  Auditions for the beauty pageant will be held in rural areas while the grand finale will be staged in Gaborone.   "We intend to market BOMU with this project," Ntsie said.

Meanwhile, Ntsie revealed that they are going to host the BOMU awards, probably early next year.  The annual BOMU awards were not held last year.

Ntsie said they are still in negotiations with the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) for partnership.  He said what is good about the negotiations is that it is the department, which has approached them.  They want to make the BOMU event the biggest ever.  "If we agree on a contract with the Department of Broadcasting Services, we would like to make the next awards the biggest," he said.  They are also looking at introducing cash incentives for the winners.  To him, it does not make sense for one to win a prestigious award only to sleep on an empty stomach the following day. He believes that introducing cash incentives will make a huge difference to the lives of the artists.

Ntsie said they are approaching a number of companies to sponsor the winners.  They also want the winning artists to be appointed ambassadors for the sponsoring firms.  The BOMU official said categories for the entries would be increased for the BOMU awards. BOMU would like to take local fashion designers on board as well.  They want the winners to

be dressed by local fashion designers for the awards ceremony. Ntsie finds it embarrassing to have local top artists dressed by foreign fashion designers.

"We want the artists' attire to be designed by local fashion designers during the awards.  We also want to promote the local fashion industry.  We want to make the awards ceremony to be proudly Botswana as much as possible," the official said.  For the first time, the BOMU official said they are also going to have an award for the media.  He said they are going to organise build-up events towards the awards ceremony.  This would include road shows.  In fact, the beauty pageant, which will come just a month before the awards ceremony, would be one of those build-up events. Ntsie conceded that they have learnt from their past mistakes in organising the awards.  He pointed out that during the last awards ceremony in 2009, even the broadcasting was poor.  These are some of the things that they are going to rectify.  "We are not going to compromise quality this time around.  We are going for high standards in terms of sound, lighting and others," said the official.  He said seasoned events managers like Zenzele Hirschfeldt have shown interest in working with BOMU in organising the awards ceremony.  An evaluation conducted by BOMU showed that there were more weaknesses in organising the awards than strengths.  It was also discovered that the BOMU executive cannot run the awards itself.  The project will source out an events management company.

The music union official revealed that they are going to stage the awards in April or May so they could have sufficient time for preparations.  "As soon as we conclude the contract with the Department of Broadcasting Services, we are going to call a press conference to update the media," Ntsie said.

Meanwhile, the BOMU spokesman said the previous sponsors, Mascom, have not indicated whether they were willing to sponsor the forthcoming awards.  But he spoke about other companies that have shown interest to partner with the organisation.

Ntsie recalled that in the past they were not aware about the issue name rights when negotiating with sponsors.

"In the past we were tossed around because we had nothing concrete.  But this time we will be calling the shots," he declared.

Ntsie, who said they have come up with an action plan, said they are going to have a timeframe for implementing all their projects.



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