Talking Musika

Music Leaders Must Learn To Serve, Not To Feather Their Nests

Is it not ironic that the leaders of the musicians' association should announce on television that they have lifted membership of the organisation from 400 to well over 1,000, and in the same breath, to claim legitimacy on account of a poll at the elections of 90 Gaborone voters?

It appears that the Registrar of Societies, having learnt of this event, decided that the current nominal leadership should be permitted to finish off the President's Day activities on July 1, and 17th, and then get on with proper elections before the August 31 deadline.

The beneficiaries of the fraudulent elections announced on radio and television that they will not budge despite the virtual annulment of the election at the office of the Registrar of Societies. They will budge.

The aggrieved contestants at the last toy elections say they want dialogue with the sitting committee in order to work out a way of going forward. That is the mature way of doing things.

The politicians have earned themselves the stigma of being tricksters, fraudsters, cheats and unworthy of trust. Whenever the going gets tough, it is very often the musicians, and artists in general, who will blow the whistle on bad practice in governance. The artists are granted the moral high ground from which to critique the politicians precisely because they should be driven by good morals, a clean conscience and the positive virtues that go together with the responsibility of pointing the way to fair conduct in the business of making life liveable.

Unlike the politicians, they should be motivated by the commitment to doing the right thing, rather than the very strong temptation to use office at the union to share the financial opportunities that it offers.

You do not refuse to have proper elections because you fear to lose the opportunity to go to the business community to ask for sponsorship of music awards and music competitions so that you can dip your fingers into the kitty for the benefit of your private company.

I learnt this from Bo MmeMma Mothibatsela, MmaGaone, Mme Mma Mogwe, Uncle Clement Oliphant, Mme Mma Molefhe, all of them teachers and social workers, who put the community before their egos and pockets.

Sadly, the contemporary generation of community workers has corrupted their spirit of volunteerism, seeking financial advantage at every meeting called in the interest of administering the YWCA, BCW, community centre, burial society or Sunday school. The voluntary organisations, firmly rooted in the tradition of non-profit making societies, have now been transformed into 'civil society' with executive officers who earn more than doctors.

Perhaps this is the example that the leaders at the musicians' association want to follow.

And because, the motive for leadership is tarnished by misplaced ambition and self-seeking enterprise, the officers of the organisation are vulnerable to manipulation by the vultures who prey on their naivet in order that they might gain financial advantage. It is very easy, where there is a lack of moral rectitude, ideological commitment to community service and intellectual competence, to fall prey to the vice of gangsterism of the Mafia type.

President Ian Khama was once criticised for his protestations against pay increases for parliamentarians, calling the advocates of such an increase 'vultures'. It did not earn him friendship among those who believe that Parliament is a project to be exploited for personal financial improvement by members. He said it though.

I am made to believe that he has a hand in the ongoing music competitions, which should culminate in some cultural activities on one of the President's Day.

I would hate to think that a handful of leaders at the association would want to take advantage of that goodwill and generosity to bolster their stubborn resistance to proper elections.

Things will be worse should the business community, which also stands to benefit from a sensible and properly organised union, begin to sense that they may be financing gangs and disorder at the union. Business is always very sensitive about how money is used.

Let us not disappoint them.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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