Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

25 August 2009

Botswana: 34 Categories for the Mascom Bomu Awards

A record 34 award categories will be contested for this year's P750 000 Mascom sponsored BOMU music awards. New amongst the award categories are the Best Music Producer/engineer award, Most Downloaded Ring-tone award, Best DVD live,Chairman award, and the two Lifetime Achievement award for past and current legends.

The top six categories for this year's awards are the Album of the Year award, Best Female Artist, Best Male artist, Best Newcomer, Song of the Year, as well as Best Group or Combo or Duo or Cassette. These will be voted for via SMS, while the rest will be decided by a panel of judges.

There are 22 album genre categories for the 2009 awards. Traditional music has three categories namely, the Best Traditional Album, Best Dikhwaere Album, and Best Folk Album. A related album genre is the Afro pop category. This is despite the fact that some stakeholders in the music industry had suggested that there be just one category for traditional music.

There is also Best Hip Hop, Best Pop, Best Video, Best DVD-Videos, Best-Packaged Album, Best R&B Album, Best Rock & Roll, Best Gospel, Best Kwaito, Best Kwasa-kwasa (Rumba), Best Disco, Best Reggae, Best Accapella, Best Dance, Best Raga, and Best House Album award categories.

A brochure on the awards says the winners will get P500 Mascom airtime, P1,000 honorary prize for each winner, as well as marketing package from Mascom covering print media and broadcast media, provided the artist is part of the Mascom ringtone catalogue (both exclusive and non-exclusive).

Meantime, BOMU spokesman, Joel Keitumele, says they are revising the initial prizes after protests from the musicians. " They do not feel P1,000 cash is enough reward, and so we are still discussing how best we can reward the musicians," he said. Keitumele said in a previous Showbiz interview that the BOMU awards this time would reward the winners quite handsomely, thanks to the massive sponsorship from Mascom.

However, the Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is making artists sign contracts so their music and videos or interviews can be used by the BOMU commercially, including airing on television, at no cost. BOMU also binds the entrants to allow the union to use one song and video for possible inclusion in a music CD or awards DVD for the organisation.

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