The Francistown Arts Festival is the brainchild of Bonno Ngaka, popurlaly known as DJ Colestraw, and its mission is to promote Francistown based musicians and encouraging them to establish a solid market for themselves locally and to enhance their profiles. Launching the debut festival, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso applauded Ngaka and all the other artists in their drive to revive the City of Francistown and to impact positively on the youth.
The music festival, which was held this past weekend at the Francistown Club Rugby Grounds, was preceded by a series of events among them a football tournament of Francistown youth teams, battle of the Dj’s and performances by some local artists among them Noelle and Latimmy.
“I am pleased to be a part of this great initiative which is aimed at bringing Francistown based artists together and closer to the corporate world as well as give life to this beautiful city. This festival encourages physical fitness and good health hence the theme ‘Music, Business and Fitness,” said Tshireletso, who also highlighted that the festival was well timed to coincide with the BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair. “25% of the profits will be channeled towards the renovation of Monarch Customary Court Shelter which was gutted by fire, and I commend the organizers for such a kind gesture and implore other artists from other parts of the country to emulate the festival organizers,” said Tshireletso.
For his part, Ngaka made another pledge to donate an additional 10% of the festival proceeds towards a workshop for musicians aimed at empowering local artists. The workshop will equip both the established and up-coming artists with skills of self-conduct in the music business and how to improve the quality of their music. Ngaka reminded the youth that as Colestraw Records, they are doing this for the benefit of all but more especially the Francistown artists who are struggling to find foot in the Botswana music industry. He cautioned them to behave well to safeguard his brand; “If things do not go well, it is Colestraw Records’ name which will be dragged on the mud but I am willing to take that risk for you, to teach you how to make it in this competitive industry,” he said.