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BOMU snub disco, kwasa kwasa artists in awards

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Tumza and The Big Bullets
Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) has released categories for its 10th annual music awards, but has excluded popular genres on its list.

A record 38 award categories will be contested for in this year’s edition of the annual music awards, but disco and kwasa kwasa have been given a wide berth. This has rubbed artists of the two genres the wrong way, as they feel unrecognised and disrespected by BOMU.

The artists, who are also BOMU members, are crying foul following the cold-shoulder and complain that they have been used by BOMU to push their (BOMU)agenda in the promotional festivals.

They argue that while they have been snubbed for the awards, not so for other genres such as gospel, who have been given more space with an inclusion of three categories being Best Traditional, Best Contemporary and Best Clap and Tap Gospel albums.

They bemoaned that BOMU has included the less popular genres in the country such as R’n’B ahead of their genres.

“Ke tseo di awards (categories) tsa BOMU,” charged a disco artist who spoke to Arts& Culture on condition of anonymity though.

“Why is disco not on the list? We are always being sidelined and discriminated (against) when it comes to the awards. These guys need to be asked. 

They have been using us for their promotional shows, which we were not paid for. They were pushing their own agenda, but now when it comes to the awards, disco artists are not fit to enter.”

But when  approached, BOMU president, Pagson Ntsie erupted into a ball of fire, refusing to entertain questions from this publication and threatening to sue.  Ntsie lectured this reporter that his committee has resolved not to talk to, nor allow any of Mmegi reporters at their events. “My committee has resolved that we should not

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give interviews to Mmegi because of the negativity the paper has against BOMU. “We read witchhunt from the stories you write about BOMU, and I can give you a list of the stories written by the paper, which we thought were not balanced.

So I will not respond to your questions.“You can go ahead and publish what you have and we will look at preparing the lawsuit. Ga re ka bona ope wa di reporters tsa Mmegi during awards, ga re itse,” Ntsie threatened.

The BOMU awards have on many occasions been surrounded by controversy, leading to some artists deciding that they will never be a part of the awards or BOMU itself.

Amongst the award categories are the Best International Artist, Best Music Promoter, Best Disabled Artist, Best Print Media Journalist, Best Electronic Media Journalist, Patron’s Award, President’s Award and Honorary Legendary Award for past and present.

There is also Best Hip Hop/Rap/Motswako album, Best Afro Pop, Best Music Video, Best DVD, Best Music Producer, Best Single Track, Best Collabo, Best-Packaged Album, Best Kwaito Kwasa/Best House Kwasa, Best House Dance Music Album, Best DJ, Best Actor/Actress, Best Television Programme/Show and Best Folklore and Polka Album.

The top seven categories for this year’s awards are the Album of the Year award, Best Female Artist, Best Male Artist, Best Newcomer, Song of the Year, as well as Best Group or Combo or Duo and Best District Chapter.

These will be voted for via SMSes, while a panel of judges will decide the rest. 

Besides the BOMU awards, other local music awards like Yarona FM music awards have also shifted away from including genres such as kwasa kwasa.



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