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“Music is my Business” seminar to empower local artists

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Director of Association of Music Friends (AMF) Tony Petros is adamant that music is serious business and that artists should be accorded the opportunity to network and learn from each other. He said this is what would happen at the upcoming first ever music seminar slated for December under the theme, ‘My music means business.’ This first of its kind event will bring artists and music stakeholders all under one roof, noted Petros, who also said that the seminar would empower artists to take their craft seriously.

“This will be the first ever music business seminar and it is the ultimate platform to advocate for the arts as well as lobbying for the Arts enthusiastic population,” he said. Petros explained that AMF is an edutainment platform aimed at networking, as they believe that this could optimise opportunities in the music industry thereby accelerating music business. According to Petros, the music seminar is a two-day seminar delivered into a workshop format, aimed at ensuring that participants easily interact with speakers, according to Petros.

He emphasised that they wish to diversify artists through skill transferring to the participants; hence music plays a pivotal role in business related to the arts. When quizzed on what prompted him to come up with such an initiative, he responded that there is little investment in the music industry despite the fact that it is quite rewarding to all stakeholders. “Lack of statistics in our industry makes it hard to realise the business opportunity in the arts,” he said.

Some of the prominent guests expected to grace the seminar include a delegation from Kaya FM as well as music compiler Pheko Kgengoe of Sony Music, Universal Music Africa, which recently signed Vee Mampeezy and Record Executive and President of Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) Davison Munsanda to mention a few. Petros added that they expect a sizeable number of local guests to also attend. “We are expecting regulatory bodies like COSBOTS, BOCRA, CIPA and Botswana Innovation Hub and industry captains like Limkokwing Entrepreneurship Acceleration Platform, Faculty of Multimedia, Sound and Music and other many stakeholders.”

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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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