Female jazz ensemble,Women of Jazz comprising of Punah Gabasiane-Molale, Kearoma Rantao and Nnunu Ramogotsi as well as legendary broadcaster and DJ, Sidney ‘DJ Sid’ Baitsile have recently declared that they are 100% ma-Domi. The trio and Dj Sid have confirmed their political affiliation in social media posts where they are seen posing for photos with Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) leadership donning the party’s colours, a move that sparked conversations among industry key players.
In an interview with Time Out, DJ Sid confirmed his surprising move saying he needed a political home and BDP looked like the best option given the current state of the country’s political situation.
“Our political culture is mainly based on being a member of a party. I just want to vote for a party I also belong to. I was a BDP member before. I have lots of hope that Masisi will do much better than the previous president and that opened the possibility for me to return,” he said.
For her part the first lady of jazz and member of Women in Jazz Punah Gabasiane-Molale said she has been a BDP member all her life. She says 15 years ago she even recorded the BDP campaign 10 track album and performed at their events. “This year I decided to be an officially registered member so that I can also make my contributions working with the party closely as we move Botswana forward and I am a Motswana who strongly believes in BDP policies and do have rights to have a choice of party,” she pointed out.
When asked if her political affiliation would not affect her brand Punah said nothing will change as she has a professional life of a musician and personal life of someone who has freedom of a democratic right to affiliate with whichever party she chooses.
However, the president of Botswana Musicians Union, Pagson Ntsie advised against their move saying it did not look good at all. “If I had powers I would ask them to just act like civil servants who keep it to themselves and provide service to everyone. That will catch up with them in the future,” he said giving the example of one BOMU member who failed to get a branding tender because he had openly and actively declared his affiliation with a certain party.
He went on to say artists must understand that they are entertainment service providers to all and they must keep it to themselves and let people guess their political standing, “They must keep active politics to politicians. BOMU constitution does not allow political affiliation.”
Ntsie also said South Africans affiliate themselves with a condition, for example “Chomie and Arthur demanded more than R10 million to declare their support to ANC last time.”