Zeus, Rantao light the path for other local musicians


When local music stars, rapper Game ‘Zeus’ Bantsi and jazz sensation Kearoma Rantao, participated in last year’s All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMAs), little did they know that it would open doors for their industry colleagues.

Their nomination has resulted in the accreditation of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) by the New York based AFRIMA awards.

BEPA publicist Gilbert ’PP’ Seagile told Showbiz that following the two artists’ nomination and participation in the AFRIMAs last year, the awards owners Anderson Obiangwu and Ofeoma Nzimiro had visited Botswana to learn more about the arts in the country.

“I must commend Zues and Kearoma for marketing our country so well because the owners of the AFRIMAs told us that they did not know much about Botswana but they developed interest after coming across the two musicians’ work. They made a decision to find out more about the country. Our country’s talent and political stability they decided to accredit BEPA,” he said.

Through their accreditation, BEPA is now mandated to identify local performers who are deserving of nomination to the AFRIMAs. BEPA then sends a list of names for nomination. “I call on musicians to forward their CVs DVDs and what they consider their best songs, or contact us for further information. This is a big opportunity for us as a country, and our music industry. I also urge government to invest more in the creative arts because it is clear that the arts can market the country much better than most industries,” he said.

Seagile noted that through participation at the AFRIMAs some African artists have done major collaborations with international acts, which boosted both their profiles and their income. “Mafikizolo collaborated with Davido and this has shot them further up and these days they charge in US Dollars for their performances,” he said. He added that it was crucial for musicians to produce high quality works, which could make the grade on the international stage saying nomination alone was not enough but that artists should aim to win.

Seagile also noted BEPA has selected president Ian Khama to enter his name for the Transformation Leaders Award, which is bestowed on politicians who play a major role in advancing the growth of creative arts in Africa.

“We feel no one was more deserving than president Khama because apart from championing the annual President’s Day awards, he has also been part of other initiatives such as the Khwawa festival and is the reason many of us now know of polka dance,” he said.

Before the main awards, which have been slated for October 2015, different countries are expected to bid to host the nomination party.

Seagile said they were pulling all the stops to ensure that Botswana secures the deal. “This would give us a chance to host the biggest musicians in Africa. We need support as BEPA, because we do not have musicians on our execute committee but we rather promote musicians. If we succeed in hosting of the show, local music fans will benefit. The country will also benefit from tourism,” he said.

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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