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Government releases anti-alcohol album

Staff Writer
Government has taken its obsession with anti-alcohol campaign to another level by dropping a 12-track music album loaded with anti-alcohol songs.

The anti-alcohol music will blaze on the two government radio channels, but the bulk of the CDs may gather dust in government offices because there is no distributor for the album, officials have confirmed.

According to Themba Sibanda, a public relations officer in the Ministry of Health, the anti-alcohol and substance abuse album will be officially launched on Friday in Gaborone with much fanfare.

The promotions officer in the same Ministry Malefane Kelapile told Mmegi in a separate interview that government Radio Stations, RB1 and RB2 will then ensure extensive airplay of the CD in an effort to spread President Ian Khama's anti-alcohol message. He said it will not be distributed country wide because the ministry is not in the business of music.

The latest CD recording by Government comes at a time when the Government newspaper, the Daily News is running anti-alcohol campaigns on a daily basis, while other anti-alcohol adverts are also running on Botswana Television (Btv).

The recording of the album was paid for by the Ministry of Health, and it was recorded last year, although the promotions officer at the Ministry, Kelapile refused to disclose the cost of the CD recoding. However he confirmed that all the 12 tracks on the CD are anti-alcohol songs. He could not furnish Mmegi with a copy of the album or allow us sample it before the launch.

However Kelapile has admitted the Ministry has no strategy to distribute the CD recording across the country, claiming that the songs will reach the nation only through radio stations.

He said the ministry would not be able to distribute the CD all over the country because it is not in the business of selling or distributing music. Asked to say why they could not at least appoint a distributor for the CD, Kelapile said they never thought about

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the strategy.

Popular artistes featured in the CD recording include Shanti Lo, popular for his Afro-Jazz tunes, Stompie, a kwaito kwasa artist and a traditional music performer Kaizer, while seven others are unknown artists-Memory, Bapsta, Lazyboy, Luz, BK, Zinos, and Endy.

The CD launch at Gaborone West Open grounds would be followed by countrywide road shows to run from the 24th of this month, ending on the 3rd of March.

However performers of the songs will only perform on the day of the launch, according to Kelapile, while the rest of the tours will consist of drama and songs performances. A local production company has been hired to stage the drama and songs performances. Yet again Kelapile refused to disclose the cost of the production, which will see the company touring eight sub-districts in 40 days.

The Ministry of Health claims the anti alcohol CD recording and road shows follow two studies conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2003 and 2005.

In a release yesterday Themba Sibanda, a spokesman at the Ministry of Health claimed the latest undertaking by the Department of Public Health in the Ministry of Health is to sensitize young people on the effects of alcohol.

"The Ministry of Health has now produced a musical CD. The songs on the CD are composed by various local artists and are targeting the youth against abusing alcohol", Sibanda claimed.

Since taking over as the State President Khama has vowed to take stringent measures against alcohol consumption.

He has since introduced a 30 percent alcohol levy that was affected towards the end of 2008, resulting in poor sales at the only clear beer brewer, Kgalagadi Breweries.

The levy accrued over P100 million for the government since its inception.

President Khama has also reduced operating hours of  bars, bottle stores and clubs by about six hours.



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