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Aggrieved BW artists approach Registry of Societies to nullify BOMU recent AGM and looming awards

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Aggrieved local artists have informed VIBE that they have served the Registrar of Societies with a letter demanding that the recent Annual General Meeting and elections for Botswana Musician Union (BOMU) be nullified, citing grave irregularities during the meeting. As if that was not enough, a letter which this reporter has in his possession also intend to have this year’s annual BOMU awards cancelled until BOMU cleans its house.

An artist representing the aggrieved artists revealed that according to the Registrar of Societies Act, BOMU made some grave mistakes which are against its constitution before the AGM. “Under normal circumstances, those who end up representing their regional chapters should be elected in a democratic setup of artists at their various regional chapters before they can be eligible to vote at the AGM.

It was never the case with the current AGM as the elected BOMU president Pagson Ntsie decided to connive with a few selected artists and managed to capture BOMU fraudulently,” the concerned artist explained. Information reaching this publication is that Ntsie used some artists to hand pick chapter committee members they know will dance to their tune during the elections, in the process side-lining genuinely elected chapter committees as a majority of them were denied entrance at the AGM. BOMU honorary member Alfredo Mosimanegape confirmed to VIBE that it was the first time to be denied entrance inside the AGM and he smelled a rat from henceforth.

VIBE can confidently state that the abnormality was first discovered in Francistown a week before the AGM where local artist, MC Maswe, who was the chairman of the elected Chapter committee, went behind artist’s backs and handpicked a temporary committee at the order of Ntsie. When it was discovered, Maswe then downplayed the whole issue, asked for forgiveness and promised to reverse the decision. When the committee was busy preparing for the Gaborone BOMU AGM, Maswe together with his illegal handpicked committee then secretly went to Gaborone and voted fraudulently in the absence of the elected committee.

Francistown BOMU chapter members who were elected by the northern artist last year was allegedly barred from entering the venue only for them to discover that the rot affected all the BOMU chapters across the country, hence artists believe that BOMU has been captured by some few selected individuals headed by Ntsie. The Francistown artist recently held a meeting during which they shared their disappointment at the way BOMU has been captured as they vowed to take the matter to a court of law in the event the Registrar of Societies does not heed to their complaints. Ntsie did not respond to allegations of a looming letter blocking his recently attained presidency status.

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Making outstanding art through waste material

Keletso Thobega

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Following one’s vocational calling can be a tall order in a world that still believes that white-collar work is the only way to make a living. No one knows this better than 28-year-old Khumoyame

Addam Ndove, who is a police officer by profession and an artist by vocation. While he is committed to his work as a law enforcer he dedicates most of his free time to making art. Ndove runs a company called Craft-eyed Designs which specialises in upholstery designing, artistic furniture and décor ornaments, mostly made out of waste materials such as empty oil drums, tyres and pallets, among others. The Francistown born and raised lad tells Vibe that his artistic journey started with a passion he had for art and using recycled material to create distinct new pieces.

One day he got an idea to try out a few art works and he went out to collect raw material and got down to work. “I knew I was talented in hand craft but had never explored my potential. I was impressed with what I managed to do. My work was interesting and outstanding. I also received positive feedback from the public and realised that this was something I could do out of passion and to complement my earnings,” he says.

Ndove explains that Art is a way of expressing himself. “I enjoy art because that is how I communicate and share what is in my mind.” He points out that he is also a businessman so selling his craft was not too difficult as he has the acumen. He however notes that the biggest challenge he faces is that a large number of Batswana do not appreciate art and therefore do not recognise the value of his work. Other challenges he faces include lack of operational space and shortage of capital.

He says that shortage of raw materials limits him from unleashing his full creative potential. Ndove currently runs his company alone and juggles it with his day job. He hopes to one day get an investor to bolster his business so that he can employ other people and grow the enterprise. “I would like to get a spacious workshop and showroom, and also hire relevant employees.” But doing what he loves makes him content. “Bringing an idea to life makes me fulfilled. I always feel great when I see my finished products.”

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BOMU awards go on…

Keletso Thobega

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The 10th annual Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) awards will be held on 26 January 2019 at GICC. Revellers should expect performances from Lister Boleseng, Nono Siile, Perion, Slizer, Matheke Letane and Kwaito Nation among others. Tickets are said to be already on sale through Webtickets.

The awards will also be broadcasts.
Over the past few weeks there has been confusion over whether the awards will go and this week Phemelo ‘Fresh Les’ Lesokwane officially confirmed that it is all systems go. Artists caused a stir this week on social media when they indicated that was confusion and miscommunication around the awards. But Lesokwane insists that there is nothing confusing going on as the interim committee had been planning the awards for a while now, and had even roped in sponsors.

He said that the awards had been organised since last week but they had to change the date due to a few glitches. Lesokwane says that they had opted for the people’s choice approach to awards. “We have given the public the power to decide who they want to vote for under the different categories. What happens is that when you vote you sms the category and name of the artist to 16565. We are then going to tally the votes when voting lines close on 23 January 2019.

We will then cut down the number of entries based on the number of votes. This will make the process easier for our judges, who will listen to the artists’ CDs and give them points.” He further said that having a high number of votes would not automatically mean that an artist makes it. “One might have many votes but with low quality music and we consider that. We are looking at quality
Lesokwane said that when former chairperson Pagson Ntsie was outsed, the awards were still open. “Registration is still on at BOMU office in Kgolagano at Main mall. Those who had registered can check their documentation.”

Last year BOMU was wrecked by infightings following a ruling that Pagson Ntsie is not the legitimate chairperson of the music body. The ruling was passed in August by the Registrar of Societies. The ruling came following investigations regarding adherence to the BOMU Constitution and corruption claims. Accusations of financial mismanagement and poor leadership also cropped up.

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