Hip hop artist and founder of the Tlatsa Lebala campaign Tshepiso 'Kast' Molapisi has bared it all and accused the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development of bullying.
He says youth minister Thapelo Olopeng of sabotaging his concept.
Speaking during today’s press conference at Size 10 Restaurant in Gaborone, Kast said that although he has not disrespected the minister in any way, Olopeng has actually gone out of his way to make sure that Tlatsa Lebala fails.
Kast who visibly looked frustrated announcing that this year's Tlatsa Lebala music festival will not be held at the National Stadium, detailed out why his 2016 show and the one scheduled for October 20, 2018 were postponed. He disclosed that Olopeng was a central figure in all his challenges to host a successful event.
"Since 2016, when I started this arts campaign, there has been a central figure who has been working overtime to make sure that Tlatsa Lebala doesn't happen. There is nothing more dangerous than a powerful bully. When I started the campaign, one of the first people I wrote to was Thapelo Olopeng, not to the ministry but to the minister requesting a courtesy visit, but I have never had that opportunity. The meeting was just impossible," Kast said.
Kast said that he was made to spend most part of the day at the ministry offices just to have a meeting with the minister, but always left disappointed, as that did not happen.
"It got really bad when I came as early as 6am hoping to meet him before he started his day, but was really embarrassed as he just brushed me aside and took the Tlatsa Lebala hat I had brought him and gave it to his assistant and walked away. He was tossing from side to side without giving me confirmation or commitment that I would be funded. I had no problem if I didn't get funded, but I was given mixed messages," he added.
Kast revealed that he even reported Olopeng to his party, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the Office of the President.
Moreover, Kast said that his concept was copied when the ministry, through BOT50, held
He said that he believes that Olopeng is responsible for him not getting access to the stadium for this year's music show, which was scheduled for October 20, 2018.
However, when contacted for comment minister Olopeng vehemently denied the accused and said that he was surprised that Kast would spread such accusations about him.
"It’s surprising that after going out of my way to make sure that he got the support last year, he is saying that. They wrote to the ministry about the stadium, but we are not the custodians of the facility. But I went out of my way and said to BNSC to assist because I supported his initiative. They are against festivals being held at the stadium because of the damage to the facility. We also don't fund individuals but I said, there is a young person with a good initiative, please assist him and he got the ground," Olopeng said.
Olopeng further said that he made sure that his deputy minister attended the music festival as a sign of support from the ministry.
"It's a pity that I now have to respond to personal and silly accusations. We thought that, as an entrepreneur he is bound to be successful and save some money for the next show and indeed it was. But it’s high time our young people know that the creative industry is a business, which opens doors for entrepreneurs not crybabies. The handouts mentality will not fit for the creative industry. We want to grow the industry, so crybabies can go home. I feel sorry for him because he is biting the hand that fed him. He needs to be delivered," Olopeng added.
Olopeng said that he wasn't aware that the Tlatsa Lebala music show is on this year.
Meanwhile, Kast confirmed that the music festival would be on December 1 at a venue yet to be announced.