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ATI Boycotts Rakgare As Frustrations Heighten

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
ATI
Popular musician, ATI who recently took to the public to share his frustrations about the current administration failed to honour a meeting with Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) Tumiso Rakgare on Friday.

The controversial rapper who recently released a banger called Stimamolelo has revealed that he wants to meet President Mokgweetsi Masisi instead not cabinet ministers.

“Our government is the image. Puppet masters take cover. Citizen empowerment nada,” he posted on his Facebook wall.

Efforts to get a comment from the Ke lekhete hitmaker were futile as his mobile phone was off. ATI has been getting a lot of support from Batswana and other industry players after his Motor Centre remonstration.

The viral Motor Centre live video even attracted a response from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.

“We have listened as the artist Atlasaona “ATI” Molemogi publicly raising some of his concerns. Many people may not agree with his approach, but we have noticed some validity to some of these concerns. ATI is an artist that contributes greatly to the arts in our country and he deserves audience. We promised a responsive and inclusive government that listens to its people. In this regard, we have pleaded with the ministers responsible for the performing arts being Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Rakgare and his deputy Buti Billy tomorrow (June 18) to meet with ATI and hear his plight,” the ruling party revealed in a statement on social media.

In an interview with Showtime, Rakgare said ATI agreed to meet with him on Friday but he never showed up.

 “O utlwile le wena gore a re ga a kake a kopana le nna ka gore ga ke motho wa sepe,” Rakgare expressed.

He said besides ATI ditching the meeting, as MYSC they were doing everything they could to help the creatives.

Rakgare said they have reiterated the fact that every sector has been affected by Covid-19.

“From the youth who run car wash businesses to vendors who sell airtime, everyone has been hard hit and there has been no income in the last few months,” he said.

Rakgare also said they have helped creatives with that P2, 500 relief allowance for three months but they haven’t stopped there.

“We have been negotiating with the government to find ways to relax the conditions and allow the industry to resume. We cannot be all over

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the place at the moment,” he said.

Rakgare further said artists have to accept the fact that they were not alone because other sectors such as sports have been affected as well. He said they were doing everything in their power to make sure that no one felt left out.

Speaking of being left out, creative industry key players have continued to share their frustrations on social media, as the latter has become the platform where cries are being heard by both the government and the public.

Decorated musician, Vee Mampeezy even took to Facebook to express that the creative industry was under a serious economic attack.

“This could be a major setback to the industry if taken for granted because these are people who contribute to uniting the nation,” he posted.

Vee Mampeezy further stated that the creative industry has had its share on contributing to the economy of this country and now it was heart-breaking to see them feeling like no one took them serious.

He said things like depression and discouragement can easily take over in times like these and one can easily resolve to alcohol and drugs. He said it’s very possible to see him wilding out in the streets and people will say he is drunk or high.

“There is a need to have a serious meeting between the creative industry and government on a creative industry recovery and stimulus fund. We have to agree that the wolf has entered the kitchen. Go tlala blind,” renowned music promoter Godwin “Xotic Exoxo” Sebina of Exoxo Entertainment posted on Facebook.

However Thapelo ‘Fish’ Pabalinga of GIMC revealed on social media that he met with the MYSC Assistant Minister Billy.

“We discussed the current situation regarding public events & the losses to the value chain and what can be done to bridge the economic gap created by the pandemic.

The only industry that has remained shut since March 2020 is the entertainment industry. Just pause and think about how artists, comedians, poets, choirs, band members, technical etc who are making ends meet. It's rough for them, something needs to give,” read the Facebook post.



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