- Two local guitarists to play with Burna Boy
- Of artists backstage treatment
Gilbert “PP” Seagile says by calling the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS), Botswana Police Services and Security Systems to oversee the upcoming Diamond City Concert, they are trying to meet international standards and ensure the smooth running of the event.
Giving an update on the ongoing preparations for the gig slated for 2nd December 2017 at the National Stadium in Gaborone, the organizers said everything was going according to plan.
“We are expecting 13% of people from outside Botswana more especially from Lesotho according to the ticket sales. The VVIP tickets are sold out and we will not be selling more as we are trying to avoid overcrowding and give patrons a VVIP experience,” he said.
Commenting on their lineup which is male dominated, chief organizer-Bruce Nkgakile- said there were fewer female artists because some of them were either booked on the same date or had other engagements. “We also wanted to go for a different batch of artist, we were not sticking to your usual crop of artists because we want to give others a chance to grow and show their talent. But I can assure that it is a healthy mix of artists catering for all age groups,” he said adding that two Batswana guitarists will get to play live with Nigerian artist Burna Boy as he will be leaving his guitarists behind. “Who knows maybe he would like performing with them and engage them more,” he pointed out.
For his part, artist Thato ‘Scar’ Matlhabaphiri who is also in the lineup said the event was a true representation of exciting times in the entertainment industry as there is inclusiveness of local artists. “We are being appreciated for what we do. We want to make a living out of what we do. Remuneration is okay, even the font size used to advertise the show is visually seen in all advertising mediums,” he opined.
Backstage Treatment of Artists
Even though organizers of the Diamond City Concert promise a world class event, local artists have always raised concerns about bad backstage treatment when they perform alongside mega international stars. Local artists always decry lack of celebrity treatment and want equal treatment backstage. “We are always separated from the international acts; how are we supposed to collaborate when we don’t get to sit with them? You will find them in well serviced marquees while we struggle to get drinks in our ‘local’ acts marquee,” one artist complained. Asked if artists will face the same challenges in their upcoming event, Nkgakile said “When an artist is booked, he or she needs to tell the promoter or event organizer all their requirements. If your booking comes with four bodyguards clearly state that and it shall be done. There is no use in complaining that another artist is receiving certain treatment and you are not when you did not clearly state any requirements at the beginning.”
Diamond City Concert vs Gaborone City Council
Town Clerk, Mpho Mathe recently issued a statement distancing the Gaborone City Council from the Diamond City concert, saying they are not in any form part of partnership including organizing the event and cautioned the public against the usage of the City Council’s name, property and emblem for personal gain. “While this is the case, we wish to indicate that as a city we are not averse to cultural activities that promote Gaborone as a cultural urban tourism hub with a pre-condition that all public health and safety precautionary measures are in place by the organizers including undue noise infringements to the residents within proximity of the site,” the statement read in part.
In response to this, Nkgakile said “I know that there was a bit of confusion in the past weeks, somebody saying I don’t know these guys and I am not supporting them. Many people don’t see it as yet but the bigger picture is that through this event, we can make a bigger impact economically through all the jobs that this industry creates, forget about the noise. Thank God his worship the Mayor acceded to that call.”