The amount of joy that was written on the face of the talented Kumakakwane Setswana poet, Kopanang Tito when he was crowned the 2019 BTC annual poetry festival winner last year in September has now turned into sorrow as he is yet to enjoy benefits of his P 65 000 package.
Tito after declared the winner of the inaugural BTC poetry festival comprised a recording deal of the albumin one of the local studios of his choice worth P 40 000 but it still remains dream.
Also, he was entitled to P 25 000 for the purposes of his logistics such as transport, food and accommodation in a hotel of his choice in Gaborone for period when he is recording album.
The now disgruntled artist revealed to this publication he fears that coordinators of the festival from The Black African Poets Organization (BAPO) have defrauded him his contractual money.
“My anticipation is that I could have produced and recorded my first professional album last year by December. I won the recording which BTC has approved its money for both the studio and logistics to BAPO and other coordinators to facilitate my recording to no avail,” Tito said.
Narrating further his tribulation, he shared out of his whooping P 65 000 package deal he just got a paltry P 1 000 from the coordinators for studio recording adding that it is disheartening.
“In the first place the arrangement was to record at Raslogic studio which is partner to BAPO but was not pleased by the quality of the studio and I turned it down. I went to Touch Records studio where I recorded my songs are stuck there as I couldn’t pay as I expected, “he moaned.
He went on to elaborate that he reported the matter to BTC but said the latter knew that everything is going smoothly despite the hiccups he endures and he hopes for resolution.
The Seromamowa sa Botswana (Radio Botswana) hit poem maker said the matter has been reported to the CID office after suspected that his financial privileges could have been duped.
At a colorful poetry gala held under floodlights at Thapong Visual Arts Centre in Gaborone, on 21 September, gifted folk poet emerged the winner beating other 15 fellow finalists for crown.
Like any artist who does survive by events or shows to make money through his bookings said COVID-19 has spelled doom to him financially adding that he could be at least selling his album.
BAPO Chairperson Lebalerona Dumelang who was part of festival organizers could not be reached for comment as her mobile phones were not available at the time of going to print.
Uncle Touch of Touch Records said BAPO engaged him to record Tito’s album and he is yet to receive his payments highlighting that he will not release the album before being paid his dues.
“I have done the album and I am also battling with BAPO for my payments. I don’t know a lot on the saga between Tito and BAPO directors over the money owed to me,” Uncle Touch said.