The 5th edition of the Botswana Music Union (BOMU) awards took place this past weekend and brought together local musicians, each hoping to walk away with the industry’s highest honor. The annual event took place at the Gaborone International Convention Center (GICC), where some of the nominees took the stage by storm with a series of epic performances, much to the pleasure of the attendees while some scooped the coveted awards.
Speaking to BOMU Secretary general Pagson Ntsie about the significance of the awards to the artists he said, “Through these awards, an artist is honored and celebrated. It is a noble prize to be singled out of the rest. The award boosts your profile as an artist as one gets recognition from the corporate world as well as land international bookings.”
He said BOMU presents the award to the deserving artist but it is up to the artist to take advantage of their recognition. “It is just like graduating from university where upon getting your certificate then it is up to you the graduate to make use of your achievement. Locally, we have seen a trend of success for most of our artists after winning an award. For example, we witnessed Nnunu Ramogotsi performing on international stages (Sweden and Germany) after she was recognized at last year’s awards as well as Trinity who went to perform in Canada. Gaona Tlhasana’s profile was also boosted after winning the BOMU best electronic journalist of the year in 2012 where then she got a lot of bookings after the award. We saw her making appearances in a lot of events, TV and radio afterwards” Ntsie said.
For his part, local artist and producer, Tshepo Lesole who scooped 3 awards (Best contemporary gospel, best packaged album and best producer / engineer) at last year’s awards and also won the best music producer award this year shared with TimeOut that his recognition has worked for him and continues to do so. “After winning I earned titles that went into my profile. Since I won the best producer award I have had more artists wanting to work with my production and their work to be associated with me because I took advantage of the recognition. I am now introduced by my titles and I think it is important for other artists to strive for these awards,” he said.
Though the awards attracted masses, there were a few hiccups associated with the organization of the event. Comparing this year’s show to the past years , prominent South African football commentator Cebo Manyaapelo of Motsweding FM who graced the awards said, “As compared to the past awards there is an improvement but there is still more work that needs to be done for the future. They should look for a bigger venue next time. Time management is also important because you cannot tell people that the show will start at a particular time and have it start late. The event also took longer than expected but I think had the award winners not all given speeches, then the event would have ended sooner. But I am happy with Batswana’s talent.”
Another attendee, Boikanyo Leposo shared that, “All artists’ performances were awesome! I particularly enjoyed Shumba Ratshega’s performance of his song ‘Ka Kgweetsa Nkuku’ even though the song is controversial. However, I was not happy with categories that had only one nominee and would like to advise BOMU to improve on that and make sure there are at least 3 nominees so that both the artists and the audience would be kept in suspense of whom the winner would be. That way it is more fun and the award would not seem like a giveaway to the only nominated artist.”
The 2013 biggest BOMU award winners with three awards each are; Lizibo (best newcomer, best male artist, best Afro Pop) , Kearoma Rantao (Best Female, best Afro Jazz, best packaged album) and Vee Mampeezy (best Kwaito, song of the year,Aita, best DVD). Dee Jay Fondo Fire won two awards (Best club DJ and best house) while Ekentolo won (best mosakaso and best Duo awards)