7 November 2017

Botswana: Arts Capable of Transforming Economy

Francistown — Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng has implored Francistown artistes and music promoters to take the industry serious since it has potential to positively contribute to the country's economy.

Speaking at a meeting with artistes and music promoters on November 2, Olopeng said government through his ministry would continue to come up with programmes as it had realised that talent could be used to mitigate unemployment.

He said the anticipated Btv 2, which would be run by his ministry, would promote talent and urged artistes to ready themselves to provide content for the station.

He encouraged them to register businesses so that they could be taken seriously.

Olopeng appealed to promoters to ensure adequate security at their events, pointing out that while stadia were designed for sport, promoters should ensure their optimal usage.

He said promoters should protect those attending events by prohibiting alcohol, glass materials and sharp objects into entertainment premises.

Olopeng said the police report indicated that there was a security lapse at the National Stadium incident, where a fan lost her life.

Ndingo Johwa implored fellow artistes to register with Copyrights Society of Botswana (CoSBots) for them to receive royalties.

Botswana Music Union (BOMU) he said was advocating for an arts council capable of growing the music industry.

Thapelo Maleka aka MC Maswe complained that the ministry was not doing enough to empower artistes because in most cases, they were expected to volunteer their services, yet youth in the catering industry were remunerated.

MC Maswe said youth ministry should be exemplary to other ministries in empowering artistes.

Batumi Nghube, who goes by the stage name Tamabrown, indicated that most artistes opted to participate in the President's Day Competitions instead of adjudicating because the former attracted a better pay.

Tshepo Bagwasi complained about the delay by youth ministry to pay artistes after engaging or buying their products.

Mpolokang Arie said talent in the rural areas was wasted since artistes resorted to alcohol. She implored the ministry to engage those with authority over the usage of community halls to allow youth to utilise them.

Donzar Elijah said he had been coaching drama at some secondary schools in Francistown since 1994 without any pay because the schools claimed there was no vote for such.

Company and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) official, Isaac Raphutshe encouraged artistes to protect their work against piracy.

In response, Olopeng said his ministry was currently engaging the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on community halls usage by artistes and were planning to submit a design for community sports complex to Cabinet for approval adding that once approved and constructed the complexes would benefit artistes.

He encouraged artistes in Francistown to hold shows to showcase their talents.

Delay of payments he promised would be addressed in the next financial year and the issue of adjudicators remunerated at a price below that of performers would be looked into.

The ministry permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate implored artistes to be on the look for tenders for Btv 2 content.

He assured artistes that he would take up the issue of schools engaging artistes without any reward with the Ministry of Basic Education.

Councillor Lesego Kwambala implored artistes to work together and not be dependent on government for assistance.

He complained that some blew their President's Day Competitions prize money on alcohol and complained that government offered them no assistance.

The meeting was attended by artistes and promoters from Masunga, Tutume, Tonota and Francistown.

Source : BOPA

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