DJs Association a solution to DJs hurdles?

The DJ Association of Botswana (DJAB) has been launched. Its mandate is to unite Disc Jockeys from all walks of life and deal with issues that affect local DJs as well as honour their vast contribution to the entertainment industry. Even though the association is new, its Chairperson Massie Hule has assured local DJs that the association is here to assist with the challenges most DJs  face in their line of work.

“We have realized that DJs also need a voice and through this association we are saying let us all come together so that as a collective, our voice can be stronger and audible. We have realized that most DJs neither have legal representation nor funeral insurance and through this association they will get access to such products and services. Many DJs have shown interest to join the association because of its benefits and we are open for more members to join us,” Hule said.

When asked about the problems DJs encounter in their line of work and how the association can help them Hule said just like other artists DJs face the problem of being underpaid or not being paid at all after gigs. “We still have cases where DJ’s are not paid after being booked for a performance. This in turn stifles the industry and that is why we have DJs doing other jobs on the side because they cannot rely solely on this craft for survival. So if you are a member you gain access to legal representation which most DJs do not afford which in turn becomes a trend because of lack of legal action,” he said.

He also highlighted that they also have a challenge of Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) wanting all DJs to pay P3 800 yearly. “We also want to discuss this issue with COSBOTS because the fee is a lot looking at the fact that local DJ’s do not make much money,” he said.

Sidney Baitsile, popularly known as DJ Sid shared Hule’s sentiments. “The first thing a fully functional and well run association will do is to finally get all Djs to speak with one voice. This association will finally bring recognition to our Djs and craft. It will help make our clients to finally pay us in cash, not with a plate of food and a six pack of beer. It will work with the Department of Youth, Sports and Culture to protect our Djs from exploitation by promoters; it will advocate to bring to an end situations where promoters load their shows with foreign entertainers at the expense of our local and it will offer our Djs additional services. Personally, I am very excited about the association and will do everything I can to make sure it succeeds. Botswana Djs have been taken for granted for way too long by our clients!”

Hule also shared that they will be hosting the first ever Botswana International DJs Conference slated for April 11th at The Grand Palm Hotel. “Inspired by other international conferences the conference will  bring together the media, DJ’s and producers into one forum. This will be a critical platform for Botswana DJs industry practitioners to keep pace with and eventually lead global developments,” Hule said.

The conference is currently sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture for  P150 000, The Grand Palm Hotel provides accommodation, conference venue and other logistics. Silver Star sponsors presents for guests of honour, musical equipment to the tune of P4000, and Yarona FM and Inc. Media are media sponsors.