- “BOT50 Committee strongly warned Artists against engaging Promoter” – sources
- “We advised BOT50 to pay Artists directly” – BOMU
FRANCISTOWN: BOT50 Committee has reportedly connived with musicians union, Botswana Music Union (BOMU) to sideline promoters in all upcoming BOT50 music festivals scheduled for Maun and Francistown next month. United Artists, a union of musicians based in the North revealed told this publication that the BOT50 Committee and BOMU advised them to shun promoters who may try to represent them for the upcoming independence festivals, as they could exploit them.
“So as United Artists we have adhered to BOT50’s advice because for a long time promoters have been cheating us when it comes to payments. In most cases they want to pay us with their rates which are very low so that they benefit more. Besides that sometimes promoters will claim that we are not worth the prices we charge. So we have also realized that they claim this because they want to pay us small amount so that they benefit more,” revealed some artists who confirmed meeting with the BOT50 Committee.
According to the artists, the committee agreed with BOMU that all artists engaged be paid directly or through BOMU to avoid promoters. They said BOT50 told them that if it paid them through BOMU, there would be transparency and they would get to know their true value compared to when using promoters who tend exploit them.
BOMU Secretary General Pagson Ntsie however rubbished the claims, saying there was no undue influence from the BOT50 as they agreed with the musicians “only in principle”.
“We met with BOT50 Committee to discuss this issue of engaging promoters and we advised that artists should be paid directly because we want to avoid a situation whereby our artists will be paid peanuts or not paid at all despite BOT50 releasing a lot of money. Considering that a lot of artists are still owed by promoters for festivals that were sponsored by big companies, there is no how we can allow BOT50 Committee to give the Promoters money. So we want all artists who are engaged to be paid directly by BOT50 to avoid what happened in other festivals where promoters were engaged,” stated Ntsie who called on promoters to promote artists with money from their own pockets instead of “government money.”In addition, Ntsie pointed out that they met with BOT50 Committee because they wanted to negotiate a standard rate for paying artists unlike promoters who tend to be arbitrary. Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) is currently at loggerheads with the BOT50 Committee who they say is sidelines them in from the country wide independence music festivals. BOT50 Coordinator Charity Kgotlafela could not be reached for comment as her mobile phone was unreachable.