Mmegi Online :: Promoters applaud Good Samaritan Olopeng
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Thursday 21 June 2018, 13:46 pm.
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Promoters applaud Good Samaritan Olopeng

After eight years of petitioning, lobbying and begging government to rescind on the directive of limitation on entertainment hours, finally promoters see the light at the end of the tunnel. They have a reason to smile after years of despair. The highest office in the land had ignored their pleas when the future of the industry teetered on the edge of the abyss. Sluggish returns were the order of the day, until the arrival of the Good Samaritan, Thapelo Olopeng on the scene. Mmegi Staffer INNOCENT SELATLHWA speaks to the president of the Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) about their journey since 2008, and the way forward in light of a dawning hope
By Staff Writer Fri 18 Mar 2016, 14:43 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Promoters applaud Good Samaritan Olopeng








The Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) has expressed delight at the recent utterances by the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng.  He says that he is in talks with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to advocate for extension of entertainment hours. 

This is despite the fact that the minister himself is yet to be a beacon of hope for the industry at Parliament level and actively fight for the extensions.

BEPA president Zenzele Hirschfield told Mmegi that their businesses as promoters was hit the hardest when the Liquor Act was enacted on April 1, 2008.

“We are very much humbled by the minister’s effort. Our businesses have been suffering.  People would not come to shows or come very late after bars closed.

This also led to poor quality of events as people would be chasing time,” she said.  It was visible all over, the police would be forced to shut down bars, clubs and even chase people away from parking lots as they would gather and play music from their cars to continue the fun.

During the countrywide kgotla meetings that were addressed prior to enactment, people spoke strongly against excessive abuse of alcohol, especially amongst the youth.

They called on government to do something to curb

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the practice.

Other people blamed the spread of HIV/AIDS and other anti-social behaviour on alcohol abuse.  Hirschfield said as BEPA they know of issues that were raised as a result of the festivals such as alcohol abuse, road accidents and complaints of noise by those within the vicinity of the events. 

She said to curb the effect they would educate revellers through road shows and other means to ensure that acceptable behaviour is displayed.

With promoters mushrooming almost daily, this makes it almost impossible to manage the situation.  An industry that is not regulated leaves a lot of space for malpractice.

The Zen Promotions boss said they are hoping that the proposed Arts Council will come in handy for promoters to do their work professionally.

“With our association at the moment, anyone can choose to be a promoter without joining us, but we need to have a professional body to regulate the industry.  We need to protect our business and eliminate fly-by-night promoters,” she said.

Hirshfield said this would ensure that every promoter abides by security and safety standards among other things.

Like the biblical Abraham who hoped against hope to become the father of many nations, the story of promoters like Hirshfield said is that of hope.

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