O’Neal’s recent statement that ‘Botswana is boring’ in an interview with South Africa’s Gareth Cliff on CliffCentral- an online radio station, got a social media talking with some castigating him and some in agreement. With a notable growth of the local entertainment industry, is it fair to say Botswana is boring?
Social Commentator Dj Sid agrees with O’Neal. “Botswana is boring. I blame the performing/creative arts industry, the private sector and government. The industry is not professional. We are not properly oriented to run this industry as a business. The government is also not helping with the curfews and laws that make it difficult for the industry to thrive. That has pushed the public away and by extension the private sector. As a result, our artists are unable to compete fairly with foreign entertainers. Promoters therefore then prefer to import foreign talent to entertain us,” Sid said.
Mercy Thebe, a young corporate and socialite feels the Botswana entertainment scene is getting better, “I would not use the word boring to describe our entertainment industry, as we have A-list events that attract regional and international audiences. Events like Orange Letlhafula, Son of the Soil cultural festival, Khawa Dune Challenge, Kgalagadi Desert Race, Mascom Derby and others makes Botswana quite vibrant. In addition companies like KBL bring international artists like Brandy and Joe from time to time. So while there is still room for growth, I would not say Botswana is boring.”
Zenzele Hirschfeld of Zen Promotions who has been in showbiz for more than a decade feels there is confusion between being quiet and boring, “Botswana is not boring but it is very quiet. Given the platform and support we could do better as promoters to at least come up with two major events that could attract masses into our country. Botswana’s population is small. We usually target the month of December to host major shows but that should not be the case, I believe we should be more creative and have events throughout the year.”