Moatlhodi wins Big Thapong Award

Phenyo Moatlhodi PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Phenyo Moatlhodi PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Phenyo Moatlhodi was on Friday crowned winner of this year’s Thapong Artist of The Year Award (TAYA), beating a host of other entrants to take home P45, 000.

The 37-year-old Tati-Siding artist won with an art piece titled Marakanelong, specialising on clay.

Wailer Motsu and Kefilwe Sentsho got second and third prizes, pocketing P25, 000 and P15, 000 respectively.

For the BTC Phone Book cover competition, Lambert Baikakedi of Kgari Sechele II Senior Secondary School got first prize and walked away with P40,000, while Tlotlo Maleke and Tsaone Ramaeba both from Naledi Senior School got second and third prize respectively. They pocketed P20,000 and P10,000 respectively. The Monitor and its sister publication Mmegi dominated the media category awards with reporter Mompati Tlhankane going home with the Journalist of the Year award while photographer Kennedy Ramokone was bestowed the Photographer of the Year award.


The two are second time award winners of Thapong Artist of The Year Award.

The other winners were Omphile Sefako (drawing), Souza Malebo (Print), Tumelo Malwetse (Tapestry).

According to judges, 72 artists registered for TAYA.  At least 59 entrants were male while 13 were female. Also, 54 of the entrants were youth while 18 were adult artists. The judges said they observed a forward thrust in terms of skilful application of media and composition compared to the previous years.

They said they observed more purposefulness in the use of the space viz-a-viz the overall design, and the aspect of legibility for publication purposes.

In his welcome remarks, BTC Foundation Chairperson Michael Mothobi said their efforts are to create opportunities and open a window for the growth of the arts. He said the arts must be viewed as a potential avenue for economic growth and social emancipation.

“We should take a qualitative leap from this cultural imprisonment. We are a country of music; hymns at churches, weddings and funerals. We should now look at the arts,” he said.

The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Tumiso Rakgare said Botswana is looking for fresh ideas as an alternative model and new perspective for economic transformation through creativity.

He said creative industries have a big role to play in Botswana’s development.

“They provide a vehicle for job creation through many facets such as fine art, crafts, music, film, jewellery design, media and publishing and fashion design,” he said.

He stated that creative industries are growing at a fast pace, providing impetus for innovation that has potential to revitalise communities.   

Meanwhile, Mothobi donated P14,000 to be shared amongst the seven students who entered the BTC Phone Book cover competition, but could not make the final three.

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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