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BTO misses rose, kisses thorn

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It would appear that Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) has money to splurge on concerts and enriching international artistes at the expense of local talent. The first-ever Baskets and Song concert, initially scheduled for 10 March, that was slated to feature Seal as well as other artistes from Botswana and neighbouring countries has been postponed following alleged contractual disagreements. Indications reaching us are that BTO contravened the contractual agreement with the ‘Kiss by a rose’ hit singer of the 90s, who had already been paid a sum of P3.2million and decided he would not come to Botswana. When contacted for comment, Communications Manager at BTO Keitumetse Setlang refused to be drawn to comment and said they had stated their point at a previous press briefing held last week.

At the briefing, BTO presented the stand that the concert had indeed been postponed and would be held at a later date. They refused to divulge further details indicating that this would contravene their contractual obligations. But this move has rubbed a few local artistes the wrong way. One local artiste who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that BTO claimed to be an organisation that represented local talent but was willing to give a “has been” so much money. “Our local music artistes are struggling but all that money is given to someone who has had one hit.

Who listens to Seal anyways?” But the outspoken rapper Scar did not hide behind a finger. He took to social media and blasted the organisation, writing a status update that read: “HanC makes good music and gets P5000 at an awards ceremony but Seal gets P3.2 million and he is not even coming.” It is not the first time that organisations geared at branding the country and bringing in tourism have come under fire. In 2014, then Brand Botswana, spent P200, 000 on controversial US rapper JaRule (real name Jeffery Atkins), and he was given a diamond on his departure. The organisation argued that the rapper would “market the country to the rest of the world.”

Ironically, during his tour of local mines and sorting facilities, the rapper, who had been booked for a show here, had admitted that he did not know about Botswana and its diamonds, noting that he thought African diamonds came from Sierra Leone. There have not been any tangible returns on this unlikely “investment” in the now ageing rapper.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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