The events that happened last week on social media and radio with regards to electronic festival came as a shock to many of us. If left unchallenged they have potential of melting down the relationship between the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture and the Arts industry which we worked hard to build. I was part of a delegation that went to meet the Minister. It is at this meeting we were told that a Cape Town company has been engaged as we don’t have experience, to us this is a toxic opinion that should be eliminated by a blink of an eye.
If Batswana don’t have experience, why don’t we get people from Cape Town to sit in the board of BOT50? Daily News ran a story on the 29th by Allan Shumba, Mr Shumba is quoted “Alan Shumba of Provantage Media Group a company tasked with organizing and marketing the event is engaged by government and Shadow Works said they organized activations for Nivea, Samsung, Kellogs Corn Flakes and Jockey among others”, so the question is when was Proadvantage engaged because 5 days ago it was Shadow Works? So this Pro advantage company seems like it has never staged a single music festival but activations. By Monday morning the promoters had broken many laws of staging a festival which clearly show they are inexperienced and have no clear understanding of the industry regulations despite the contrary.
We have realized it was always going to be difficult for Hon. Olopeng to break ranks with BOT50 on their horrendous decision to appoint Shadow Works, but however for government and Shadoworks to go ahead and appoint Proadvantage without send RFQ’s to different local promoters and engage a company that specializes in activations than music concerts is shocking. As Promoters and Artists I suggest we distance ourselves from BOT50 and its future projects because this BOT50 has potential to dent all the gains government and us have made over the past 5 years in promotion of the Arts. We must make sure they fail on their own without us.
We must pull out of all BOT50 committees and focus on the Constituency and Presidents competitions because that is where our legacy is. As promoters and artists we must never try to be amphibians and try to live on both land and water we must choose what we want and stick to it and right now let’s stay away from BOT50 and future Electronic Music Concerts focus on rebuilding burned relationships because of this electronic festivals. Moving forward it makes commonsense to rebuild the relationship with Minister Olopeng destroyed by BOT50, because we work together on many projects like Constituency Competitions, Presidents Awards e.t.c.
As the Arts it does not make sense for foreigners to organize our own national birthday as independence celebrations are strictly for citizens’ period you can go to Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa the situation is the same. You can’t compare Independence Day celebrations to Back2Skul or Boosta Bash! Independence is strictly Brand Botswana nothing else. Anything else is a clone not Brand Botswana. I call on promoters and artists to protect the previous gains we have made with government by staying away from BOT50 and future electronic music concerts we hear of. I call on Hon Olopeng to nip this matter on the bud and make sure heads roll at BOT50. No one should be spared if BOT50 was a company some people would have been fired by now. Find time to arrange a meeting with us so we take our beloved country forward and protect the remaining dignity of artists. We are here and remain here!
Yours in Music