Mmegi Online :: Artists voice their grievances
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Last Updated
Wednesday 28 September 2016, 18:29 pm.
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Artists voice their grievances

It was the creme-de-la-creme of local performing artists who met Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Thapelo Olopeng at Limkokwing University Tuesday to consult him on their grievance.
By Mompati Tlhankane Thu 10 Mar 2016, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Artists voice their grievances








First to take the mike was jazz musician, Punah Gabasiane who complained about the domination of airwaves by foreign artists.

“The percentage has to be increased because foreign music dominates the airwaves,” she said, adding that the current situation is demoralising upcoming artists.

She also revealed that the money artists get after participating in cultural exchange programmes was the same amount. “But other artists perform solo without a band so the rates have to be reconsidered,” she said.

Raymond Malinga from the National Association of Botswana Artists (NABA) said establishing an Arts Council wouldf be the panacea for all the ills. He urged Olopeng not to focus on sports only, but also put money into the creative industry. so that they could be availed resources like office accommodation to associations.

For his part, Thato Matlhabaphiri popularly known as Scar, complained about the rates local artists receive compared to their international counterparts during music festivals. He asked MYSC to look at the disparity when giving licences to promoters.

“We are working for peanuts,” he said with a typical showbiz  bravado.  Actor and promoter, Bofelo Segotso, said nothing is going to materialise until the Arts Council is formed. He complained that

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entertainment is attached to alcohol. “We want to sell the arts , but if promoters and musicians keep fighting then it is slowing us down,” he said. He urged his fellow entertainers to work together. 

Magdeline Lesolebe, popularly known as Charma Gal, blatantly expressed her disappointment over the engagement of artists in the BOT50 celebrations.

“We sent quotations only to be rejected. Our prices were reasonable but the people involved took matters personal,” she said. ‘Charma Gal’ said they are referred to as ‘bommasekanta’ and never taken seriously. “They only use us in events,” she said.

Promoter, David Abram, said MYSC should revise policies and artists should be funded to shoot world-class music videos. “BOT50 is silent. We have unsuccessfully knocked on their doors over and over gain,” he said. He said the BOT50 board should have included people who understand their grievances.

Prince Monna from Botswana Film Association said  Olopeng needed to give attention to the audiovisual industry as well because it is an important entity. He said the P11m grant is not even enough to make one film, adding that Botswana has potential in the film industry but finance was the main challenge.

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