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Musicians get BDP to commit to equal billing

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BDP spokesperson says Masisi’s consultative meeting with creative and entertainment industry is on the cards

GOSEGO MOTSUMI

After local artists decried lack of inclusion by the Botswana Democratic Party, a spokesperson of the ruling party has assured them that they will be featured in its events henceforward.

Over the years, the BDP has repeatedly billed a select few artists for its events, leaving the majority out in the cold inspite of the party’s stated policies of fair play and inclusion. “Our expectation is to all be availed opportunities and support,” says one artist who prefers anonymity. “They should be exemplary and take the lead in showing people that Botswana has talent and a large pool of it. If they are going to talk about putting Botswana music on the world stage, it should start here at home.”

Asked about his party’s position on empowerment of local musicians and booking them for gigs, BDP spokesperson Kagelelo Kentse said the BDP went beyond hiring them. “As a political party, we would like to see them associated and attached to artists of world renown. This should in turn help them improve after the fashion of the great John Selolwane who worked with the likes of Paul Simon and Hugh Masekela. That is what we want.”

Regarding the same artists always being featured at BDP rallies and other events, Kentse said the political affiliation of artists had nothing to do with his party’s selection but was based on past relationships they had with the artists. “We have realised that the president has attracted a lot of singers who even feature his name in their songs. We will soon engage all those artists.”

He disclosed that as as part of his consultation with a broad section of society, Masisi would “soon” meet with artists and people in the creative and entertainment industry.

Vee Mampeezy as one of the artists who are featured the most by the BDP said, “There are no favours,” Vee insisted. “All artists must work hard to get bookings. I was not getting any bookings at the beginning of last year while others were. I went to the studio and worked hard. Music is not a charity but a business nowadays. So let us make ourselves desirable so we go on stage by popular demand.”

Meanwhile, local gospel artist and composer Tebogo Setlhomo, whom is popularly known as ‘Tebby’released her seventh BDP album ahead of the party’s extraordinary congress that was held in Kang last April. The six-track album is titled “A re Yeng go Tlhopha” and is themed around the general elections later this year.

‘Tebby’ has been working with the ruling party over the past 12 years, promoting its mandate through her music.

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