“We want to help develop young talent through GIMC”- Thapelo Pabalinga

Jonathan Butler to workshop artists and promoters


With only a few weeks left before the Gaborone International Music Festival, organizer and Director of Leap Frog PR and Communications Thapelo Pabalinga says they are hoping to develop young talent through this year’s Gaborone International Music Conference (GIMC) which will take place on the 27th August and end on the 3rd of September.
He says for this year’s show they increased the number of tertiary students who are attached with them to assist in the planning of the music festival. He also shared with this publication that prior to the shows, there will be a workshop facilitated by Jonathan Butler to share lessons and experiences of the music industry.
“In the past festivals we always had about 8 students working with us but in this year’s show we are currently working with 12 students from various tertiary schools. A lot of them are from the University of Botswana and Limkokwing, these students study event management so being attached with us gives them practical skills of how the industry works. One of the reasons we wanted to work with these students is that we have realized that one of the reasons our events are not of a higher quality is that sometimes the people at the forefront organizing these events don’t understand what they are doing and want to cut corners. These kids need practical skills of how everything comes together behind the scenes for there to be a final product and at the end of the show we will be giving them certificates to show they have worked with us,” he said. Pabalinga further added that these certificates will help serve as reference in future when they are looking for a job or sponsors in the case they want to do their own events.
“In the last few months GIMC has attracted the attention of international media and even just people outside of this country and this is because our weeklong festival places quality above anything else, our show is that of international standards. However, it is important that they know it wasn’t always the case. What young aspiring event planners or promoters need to understand is that building a brand takes time and a lot of effort. For the past two years we have not made any profit but because we understand the grand vision we need to keep going until it really starts to pay off.” he said.
He went on further to add that a lot of promoters like to take the easy way out in a quest for quick money hence the rise of failed shows and unpaid artists. Pabalinga also added that he knew that money was always a hindrance to successful shows, however, he advised promoters to start small and build capacity: “There is no use organizing shows that flop when you could have done a well organized show that is small.”
He revealed that other than the 50 artists who will be involved in the show, proceeds from the event will be donated to Tlhokomela Trust. “One of our mandate as GIMC is to give back to our communities. This year we discovered that one of our sponsors, Botswana Tourism is trying to help raise money for endangered wildlife species for Tlhokomela Trust, so we decided that we would also help them with proceeds from the show since in the past we had donated to the likes of SOS and others,” he said.