Local house kwasa sensation and soon to be Africa’s hottest artist seems to be doing something right when it comes to his musical career and this week he was all smiles and grinning from ear to ear.
The artist in question is none other than Odirile Vee Sento and it appears that he has a magic touch. Whatever he touches turns to gold as evidenced by his success rate. The latest development is that he and local company, ViB Mobile have signed a historic deal that is tipped to be one of the biggest digital music distribution deals in Botswana. It comes with a whopping half a million pula.
The deal gives ViB Mobile exclusive digital distribution rights in Botswana to Vee’s upcoming album that is set for release this year. Through the deal, the album will be available on all three local mobile networks – Orange Botswana, Mascom and beMOBILE.
A release from ViB Mobile explains that the anticipated album that promises to sky rocket the brand of Vee in the continent will feature celebrated artists that include Jah Praizh, Casper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, Professor, Dj Tira and Naak Musiq, Dj Maphorisa and DJ Bucks (UHURU), Trademark, African Roots, to mention a few.
Speaking from South Africa with this publication, Vee said that the deal means a lot for a local company. It is even more special as the company has done something that other local companies have been unable to do, when it comes to supporting the music industry. “I am very proud of what ViB Mobile has been able to do. It is not every company that will have this much faith in the local music scene,” he said. He is equally excited at the opportunities that this deal will bring.
“It gives me power to work hard and put my all into the album. Now I need to make sure that everything regarding the album is right,” he said.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of ViB Mobile, Leroy Monaheng, the deal came about after the realisation that Vee was leading the pack when it comes to downloading caller tunes and ringtones. They sat down with him and mapped a mutually beneficial deal that has given birth to the exciting news.
He said that what they are doing with Vee is in line with what his company is trying to do regarding empowering him and other local artists. “We are hoping for the best regarding this deal and other similar deals. This deal will push local artists to work hard,” he said, adding that they are open to the possibilities of working with artists long before the album is released in order to see how they can assist each other.
Besides Vee, ViB Mobile also worked with most of the top-selling artists in the country including DJ Oats, Culture Spears, MMP Family, Lizibo and Shumba Ratshega. A press release explains that ViB Mobile has pioneered initiatives to make local music easily accessible through digital channels, and that this joint venture with Vee is a huge step in achieving that objective. It also says that between April 2015 and February 2016, ViB Mobile awarded local artistes royalties of around P400, 000.00.
“As the highest selling artist, Vee has led the pack, accumulating over a hundred thousand pula from these digital downloads,” it says. ViB Mobile’s ringtone products and services include Monophonic and Polyphonic Tones, True/MP3 Tones, Full Track Music and Caller Ringback Tunes (CRBT) and are distributed on all the local Mobile Network Operators.
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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