For the next three years Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) Limited subsidiary BTC Foundation, will sponsor Thapong Visual Arts Centre for a total P1.7 million.
Through its Corporate Social Responsibility BTC has been the official sponsor of the BTC Phonebook Cover design competition, which has unearthed artistic talent as well as strengthen the relationship between the two partners. BTC Managing Director Anthony Masunga said as a citizen owned company their business is an integral part of the communities they serve. “In order for us to remain profitable and sustainable, communities in which we operate must thrive socially, economically, environmentally and ethically,” he said, adding that such was the reason BTC undertook to plough back a percentage of its profits to support initiatives that positively impact communities and help uplift their lives. “At BTC, we pride ourselves with being a responsible corporate citizen. Through BTC Foundation we will continue to deliver positive sustainable impact to our communities for the benefit of all our stakeholders and lead the way in the corporate social investment space,” he said.
BTC Foundation chairman, Justice Michael Mothobi said in the past, there was no formal framework for sponsorship and agreements were negotiated on an annual basis in the spirit of good faith and goodwill. He said BTC Foundation found it prudent to have a formal agreement with Thapong to develop the visual arts at grassroots level. “The sponsorship covers the BTC Phonebook Cover Competition, Thapong Artist of the Year Awards (TAYA), training and development of art teachers, which are extremely critical areas. In 2016, subsequent to the establishment of BTC Foundation, our sponsorship increased to include TAYA,” said Mothobi.
The sponsorship will also covered administration and curator fees, among others. Local artists will be sponsored to attend workshops and share skills with an array of established professionals from across the SADC region to ensure that they gain international exposure and widen their scope, geographically and intellectually.
Accepting the sponsorship Coordinator of Thapong Visual Arts Centre, Reginald Bakwena said information about the BTC Phonebook cover competition and TAYA will be shared on different media platforms. BTC Phonebook cover competition targets junior and senior secondary school students to discover and nurture raw talent. “We do not accept plagiarised computer designs. We have also realised that some of the work submitted was actually done by teachers, and we do not condone that,” lamented Bakwena.
Bakwena said they will soon undertake awareness campaigns to sensitise entrants about competition requirements. Such campaigns will incorporate judges’ recommendations for the BTC Phonebook cover competition. “We are hoping to have four awareness campaigns and posters for the competition are already out,” said Bakwena.
“Last year we had 117 participants and the year before it was around 100. We want to increase our numbers this year. For the BTC Phonebook cover competition we had 138 participants last year and we also want to increase the numbers,” he said, adding that the deadline for submissions for both competitions is October 21.