With the Botswana Music Union (BOMU) Awards just a few weeks away, the music body revealed the names of the nominees in the different categories this past week. In the opening remarks, BOMU President, Michael Mmusi dismissed rumors that this year’s BOMU awards were going to be suspended; “The BOMU awards are still on and they will be held on the 31st of October at the Gaborone International Convention Center. I want all of you to know that the people who are saying this year’s BOMU awards will be canceled do not represent our views. The performance line up promises to be over the top and the nominees are very powerful, there is going to be a lot of hard decisions to make, competition is tough this year.”
National Union of Botswana Artists (NUBA) President, Taolo Moshaga, who graced the occasion, encouraged artists to stay committed to the industry. “Stay committed even when you don’t get nominated or win an award. Desist from fighting amongst each other and plotting each other’s fall and focus on perfecting your music and growing the industry,” Moshaga told the musicians, adding that NUBA was attending the nominations announcement occasion to show support.
BOMU patron, Kagiso Ntime encouraged artists to work hard on their music and emphasized that hard work pays. “Hard work really pays as seen by the five Batswana who were nominated for the AFRIMA, it goes to show that our industry continues to grow. The AFRIMA have previously been dominated by the Nigerian music industry but recently local artists have made inroads,” he said.
One of the judges who were involved in the selection process, entertainment journalist, Sharon Mathala shared with TimeOut observations from the judges. “During the selection process, we noted three key things one of them being that most entrants did not take their packaging seriously, as a result they lost points, artists need to learn that presentation is everything. Another thing is that we had to drop two of the 22 categories; Best Rhumba and Best Reggae because the works submitted in those categories were substandard. Finally, BOMU introduced a new category, that of Best Single and in this category we found it difficult to make our selection as the material submitted for judging was just too good. We nominated six songs and for the first time ever we had one artist have two songs in the same category,” said Mathala.
Best Single saw six nominees; Bouncy, Lerofo, Licky, Fondo Fire, Gaone and Dj King. Best DVD has Bana Bana Ba Ntogwa, Centy Mduduzi, Reharko Polka Group and Shumba Ratshega. Best Music Video will be contested by Lerofo, Eugene Jackson, Samantha Mogwe and Heartbeat Family. Best Dj award will be Dj Oats, Dj Fondo Fire and Dj Chabo. Best producer will be Dj Oats, BK Proctor and Bullet Ketshabile. Best Hip Hop/Rap and Motswako will be contested by E.P.I.C, Noello and Bouncy. Best Traditional will be Shirley, Shumba Ratshega, Selonyana and Mmaratwa. Best House/Kwaito Kwasa only has two contestants Figos and Vee. Best Jazz awards will see Fresh Les and Punah Gabasiane competing for the award. Best Contemporary Gospel will be contested for by Matheke, Mmadikomane, Alan Kay and Ounah. Best House/Dance will see Dj Fondo Fire, Antonelle and Dj Oats battle it out. Best Afro pop is Ashley Gops and Flexyville. Best R’N’B category has Samantha Mogwe and Amantle BW. Best Mosakaso has Mc Maswe and Charma Gal. Best Dikwaere contestants are Nthinthie and Bafenyi Rantsanyana. For the best female awards the nominees are Samantha Mogwe, Charma Gal and Amantle. Best Male artist are MMP Family, Vee, Noello and Shumba Ratshega. For the best Newcomer award Amantle, Gaone, Lerofo and Antonelle. Best Dj nominees are Dj Oats, Dj Fondo Fire, Dj Chabo and Dj King. Best group and Combo are Eskimos, MMP family, Heartbeat Family and Amanandos. Album of the year nominees are BK proctor with his masterpiece of duets, Charma Gal with Sekuta sa ga Charma Gal, Lesson No 1 of MMP family as well as Moratiwa by Amantle BW. Song of the year award; Charma Gal’s Sekuta and Hardrock, MMP family’s Lebala ka Nna, Moratiwa by Amantle, Gaone’s Kopisa as well as a surprise nominee MC Maswe with his Zhwamaronga single.