The Francistown 4th annual comedy night billed for Adansonia Hotel on the 27th of October 2017 will bring Botswana, South African and Zimbabwean comedians under one roof for a night of rib cracking moments. Among the local crop of comedians are Pheyo the Master who hails from Gaborone Botswana’s capital city, whilst Ghetto will be represented by Aromat, Maruza and Desire Etani to grab comedy bragging rights from their international counterparts.
South Africa will be represented by only one comedian in Prince whilst Zimbabwe is represented by two comedians, Clive Chigubu and Desire and Ntando van Moyo. Speaking to VIBE in an exclusive interview, both participating Ghetto comedians vowed that they would give their international acclaimed competitors a run for their money. Maruza did not shy from declaring that he would leave a mark in the comedy industry.
“Comedy is one way of enjoying oneself through laughter. As we all know that laughter is good for one’s health. During our shows, spectators enjoy their drinks whilst killing time with jokes throughout the night without anyone accidentally stepping on their expensive shoes. We encourage the people of Francistown to attend the festivals in large numbers. We promise them an early Christmas present,” he said.
Another comedian Desire Itanu said that mingling with international acclaimed comedians will surely give them the much needed milestone as they will be able to be invited in various shows across borders in the near future. The headliners for the upcoming show are top South African comedian Prins Virgil, Zimbabwean Clive Chigubu and Francistown’s very own Monate Aromat.
Prins is the hottest South African breakthrough comedy act of 2016/2017. He has won several comedy competitions, including the Jokenation International Comedy Competition which led to performances at the Montreux International Comedy Festival in Switzerland, Swaziland International Comedy Festival and the Busan International Comedy Festival in South Korea. In 2016, Prins was nominated for two Savanna Comics Choice Awards, going on to win the Breakthrough Act of the year Award.
He has produced three successful collaboration shows at the National Arts Festival and is currently touring his first one man show ‘Unnecessary’. Prins’ comedy has been described as innovative, playful and funny, transcending gender, race, culture and religion. The show also features Augustus “Monate Aromat” Phillimon from Francistown and Phenyo “The Master” Phaladi. Phenyo The Master is definitely one of the funniest and most active comedians to come out of Botswana.
As a sign of continual growth, Major Moves Comedy has roped in two Zimbabweans, Clive Chigubu and Ntando Van Moyo. Clive who was a hit at the 4th and 5th Annual Heavyweight International Comedy Festival (HICOFEST) will be making his debut performance in Francistown. A raw gem from the City of Kings and Queens, he always stands out wherever he performs. The Bulawayo born actor-cum-comedian has been nominated more than once for a National Arts Merit Award. It is his catchphrase “Ye Ye-e”, which has become his trademark. Events coordinator of Major Moves Comedy Gaolathe Kediemetse said the event would also feature up and coming comedians and poets from Francistown and surrounding areas.
“This event is another way to develop a different and alternative form of leisure for Francistown residents as well as try to get the poets and comedians at par with two international acts. This is the fourth edition and we are collaborating with Francistown based companies and exploring ways of getting the talent to shine,” he said.
Making outstanding art through waste material
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.”
BOMU awards go on…
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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