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Botswana content producers exhibition on Friday

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Scores of content producers will showcase their work on Friday at the inaugural Botswana Content Producers exhibition. The first of its kind event will be held at Gaborone Main Mall from 8am until 6pm and entrance is free. The one-day exhibition, organised by The Botswana Opportunity, in conjunction with BOFINET, Botswana Tourism, CC Kgolagano and CC Think, will attract leading production houses, industry captains, TV channels, Pay TV operators, mobile platforms, regulatory bodies, as well as media influencers, buyers and sellers of content.

According to the organisers, the platform will give all the role players recognition and accord them a platform to trade their work in the local and international content markets. Speaking at a press conference held this past Thursday, promoter Gilbert ‘PP’ Seagile noted that it was high time that the film industry, which he said had long been neglected, grows in leaps and bounds. A reputable promoter who doesn’t limit his scope of interest, Seagile said Botswana had gifted and qualified individuals who could develop a vibrant film industry. Cassim Kowa of CC Think said that for a long time now, foreigners had come to Botswana to make money and left the indigenous locals broke.

He cited The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency movie, which was shot in Botswana. “The lead actors were foreigners. Our locals were engaged as extras or small-scale suppliers. Our people were closed out. Foreigners came here to make money off us,” he said. Kowa pointed out that it was possible for locals to use their own resources to market the country. “For example, Nomina, who is a Motswana based in Germany, released a great song, Don’t Cry Africa, with brilliant video for it. If you saw the video, you would not believe that the scenery was shot in Mogobane village,” he said. Kowa noted that it was the prerogative of Batswana to take themselves and the industry seriously, and strive to be active role players in the craft.

“Some foreigners partner with locals treat them to extravagant dinners and drinks, and that is all the reward for their ideas and input.” In his remarks, Benjamin Raletsatsi of CCL Kgolagano, who is also active in the local film industry, explained that the film industry had to be resurrected, emphasising that Botswana had a great pool of talent to create some of the best content globally. Another speaker was Reverend Botswelelo Tsekane, who is a scriptwriter, producer and director. He said the film industry was riddled by many challenges but he was confident that with the team now in place, things would get better. The former Botswana Film Association director noted that it was important to emphasise that film was not limited to acting but the whole scope of work of putting together a production. He also emphasised that it was important for Batswana to learn to be united. “There is space for everyone to shine. We should uplift each other because that way, we all benefit and succeed.”

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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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