The 9th Botswana Music Union (BOMU) was an electric affair that attracted scores of Batswana and guests from across the borders. The night was all about celebrating local talent and it was great to see how everyone had a blast! Vibe was in the mix of things and we jostled down what was super cool and what needs to improve. Hits:
** It was packed to the rafters. It was heart warming to see so many people thronged to GICC to celebrate homegrown talent. Keep it up Batswana!
**ATI bagging six awards. It was undoubtedly his year to shine!
** The clap and tap gospel performance was a refreshing act. Thank you to the organisers for appreciating the fact that Batswana are a Christian people who believe in worship. It was marvellous!
**Sponsored categories. It is great to see how locals go all out to support those who are trying to make a living through music. We all know that the BOMU awards don’t come with a fat pay cheque but some local businesses sponsored several categories.
**Having top guests in our midst like a team from Lesotho radio and from South Africa, Tshwane University of Technology, at the invitation of BOMU boss Pagson Ntsie, who graduated there in mechanical engineering, as well as from India, Ekam Maanuke, who also performed with Berry Heart. It is great to see locals cement ties with other countries through the arts and media. Misses:
**The seating arrangement was muddled up. Performers, artists, journalists, judges and other guests sat anywhere. Some artists were seated at the back and had to walk all the way to take their award, while journalists craned their necks to see what was going on. Next time please have accreditation tags and devise a more organised seating plan. Worse still, the MCs were boring. In fact, Mokaragana presenters Lehenza and Atamelang did a better job when they presented an award because they were energetic and upbeat. Next time choose people with a bit of energy.
** Charma Gal seriously needs an attitude makeover despite her fame and talent. She was cold and uptight. Honey, no amount of make-up can conceal a stinking attitude. Don’t forget that “the masses” made you what you are, so be nice or life will chew and spit you out back to Lerala. Swallow some chill!
**Vee snubbing the awards. He is suddenly too big for the Botswana that made him? Those South Africans once used him and he returned home crying. To make matters worse, of late his music sucks. He has forgotten that it is Batswana who understand and appreciate his music, everything else is business. Oh, how we miss the days of Taku Taku and Pompatswidi.
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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