Gov’t drives hard to establish Arts Council by July

  • Appointment of board and administrative instruments is afoot
  • Cross Country Recordings to replace President’s Day Competitions

GOSEGO MOTSUMI

After the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development (MYSEC) Tumiso Rakgare confirmed establishment of the highly-anticipated Botswana National Arts Council by July, his Permanent Secretary Kago Ramokate says all hands are on deck to meet the set deadline.

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With just a few weeks left until the timeline elapses, Ramokate told Time Out this week: “The process to appoint the board and to develop administrative instruments is in motion.”

Rakgare announced the deadline by which the arts council would be established when he spoke at the official opening of a two-day Botswana International Music Conference (BIMC). “If I do not fulfill the promise of the arts council by July, I will personally join those who have been campaigning to have me step down (as minister),” Rakgare declared.

“This time around, we will not hold the rally in Old Naledi but will go to my constituency in Mogoditshane so that I step down as both minister and MP.”

Constituency art competitions and President’s Day Competitions will not be held this year. Minister Rakgare told a recent media briefing that these will be replaced by a Cross Country Recording Extravaganza that will also entail prizes to stimulate the creative industry.

The Cross Country Recording Extravaganza will start this month with recordings of various genres of artistic performance across all of Botswana’s 30 districts for broadcast on Btv and NOW TV. A total of 20 130 artists will participate in the initiative who will be paid P27 890 880 as performance fees.

Service providers such as film and television production, sound, stage and lighting and logistics companies will also participate. The recording will be followed by visual art exhibitions across the country, pop-up fashion shows sessions, as well as murals in selected regions.