Mmegi Online :: Biggest YAMAs winner, ATI pockets measly P10,000
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Last Updated
Friday 23 February 2018, 16:09 pm.
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Biggest YAMAs winner, ATI pockets measly P10,000

The recent 4th annual Yarona FM Music awards (YAMAs) continued to reveal the devaluing of artistic excellence in the music industry with low prize money for the winners.
By Mompati Tlhankane Fri 09 Feb 2018, 15:06 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Biggest YAMAs winner, ATI pockets measly P10,000








The biggest winners on the night each pocketed P5,000 courtesy of First National Bank Botswana.

For his two awards, ATI of Khiring Khiring, Khoring Khoring fame got P10,000 for both the best single male award and song of the year while Bouncy received P5,000 for the best single female award.

Yaw Bannerman got P5,000 as well for his best Newcomer award. As if that was not enough, the biggest award for the night, people’s choice/artist of the year award winner, Han-C also received only P5,000.

Other awards did not receive any prize money and instead the winners were given valueless armload of YAMAs statuettes.

ATI, an artist who was on top of his game last year and cemented his place as a hip-hop force to be reckoned with, was on a winning streak that night. But the khiring khiring khorong khorong hitmaker made nothing more than 10k.

For the awards that continue to grow each year since their inception in 2015, it was quite a surprise to see the categories sponsored with that low sum of money and nothing at all for other awards.

Observers however, described the YAMAs as  better compared to the perennially disastrous Botswana Musician Union (BOMU) Awards. The latter have even found themselves at loggerheads with artists in the past because they were not rewarded with money.

Even the Northern Arts Awards (NAA), which were on their third year in 2017 are still struggling with as low as P1, 000 for general awards in each category.

The performing arts are still lurking in the shadows compared to annual visual arts awards like Thapong Artist of the Year Awards (TAYA), which give their overall winner a cash prize of nothing less than P40,000.

Moreover, President’s Day celebrations contemporary music and DJ competition award winners get prize monies ranging from P20k to P30k and that includes fourth placed winners.

These are mostly competed for by upcoming artists, but the big

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artists gets less in what is supposed to be the biggest stages of them all.

Comparatively, last year’s Good Radio awards winners received better prize monies than most music awards in Botswana and the industry continues to lower standards for musicians who are trying to reach the level of other Southern African countries like South Africa, Zambia and Namibia just to mention but a few.

The biggest winner at the Good Radio awards, Goaba Mojakgomo made more money than ATI did at the YAMAs.  The Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) have higher cash prizes for the winners. The best male or female artist of the year gets N$100,000 per category. All music genres at the NAMAs get nothing less than N$30,000.

These are the awards that are only eight years old and they exist to recognise accomplishment in the Namibian recording industry by celebrating those groups and individuals who have excelled.

The Metro FM awards in SA for example, which Vee Mampeezy won one last year give every award winner R100,000 prize money. Last year Mabala Noise artist, Nasty C made R400,000 at the awards and more than R80,000.00 for his performance.

While music awards like the BOMUs have hosted benchmarking exercises with other music awards outside the country, it is still surprising that the issue of prize is still ignored.

Yarona FM also outlined before the awards that they want the YAMAs to reach international standards with guest appearances from HHP and Khuli Chana but the prize monies proved otherwise.

While FNBB did their part by opening gold cheque accounts with P5,000 prize money for the winners of the Top5 categories, the prize money for these awards does not correspond with the product and effort displayed by artists in Botswana.

Performances fees are still a concern for BW artists and it looks like the prize money for awards will not go away that easy as well.

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