BOMU Music Awards return in virtual form

  • Music union to form a research and policy committee after introducing a women’s wing and a PR sub-committee
  • Wants more artists to join because numbers will attract substantial sponsorships


After a two-year hiatus, the Botswana Musicians Union Music Awards will be returning to BOMU’s calendar of events as a virtual show. Slated for May, this will be the first music celebration ceremony under a newly elected committee that assumed office in August last year.

“We want these awards to grow our artists because we are planning to have incentives for the winners, monetary or a recording deal,” the president of BOMU, Phemelo Lesokwane, told Time Out. “We’ll be reducing the number of categories because we have realised that some are similar and should be merged. We are also working on securing sponsorship for the each category.”

The musicians’ union is also busy with the brass tacks of getting its house in order and recently announced the appointment of a public relations, branding and communications sub-committee led by Joel Keitumele as a part the process. The committee will work closely with all BOMU structures in addition to media liaison and internal and external PR work of branding, marketing and advertising the organization while managing the union’s website.

Prior to the introduction of this sub-committee, BOMU appointed a women’s wing to take an active role in issues of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and to coordinate empowerment programmes and projects. Led by Zenzele Hirschfield, the women’s wing was made necessary by rising concerns about sexual abuse of female artists working in the male-dominated field of music.

“In our continuous efforts to re-build the organization and revive its reputation, we have decided to share the work that we do with industry players who are experts in different field. We want to make BOMU visible and prove that we are professional. We continue to give people the power to run BOMU and bring about change,” says Lesokwane.

Lesokwane also revealed that they will be introducing a research and policy committee that will focus on conducting research into the music industry and release regular reports, among other things. Amendment of the organization’s outdated constitution will be done as a part and parcel of re-branding.

“I would like to urge artists to become BOMU members because what worries me is that they may only want to join at the last minute when the music awards are on the horizon,” Lesokwane said. “It doesn’t work like that because when we ask for sponsorship, we need to have the bargaining power of numbers.”