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‘We are bringing back the integrity of the awards’
Botswana Music Union (BOMU) Awards, scheduled to take place on the 31st of July 2021, are back with a new interface, with entries accepted from 01-30th May.
Speaking on Thursday at a press conference to launch the 10th edition of BOMU awards, Director of Total Music group, Seabelo Modibe, who has been appointed the Brand Marketing Specialist explained how things were going to be done differently from the previous awards ceremony that have been hosted before, in a bid to elevate the brand and restore its integrity. “We are going to change the face of the awards, and this includes the way the awards will be marketed and awarded, ” he said.
Modibe said the awards ceremony, will create employment for up to 219 people who will be engaged in work towards preparing for the awards ceremony for a period of three months. For the first time ever, there will be runner up prizes for the nominees, who will walk away with P5000.00 and the winner cashing in P10 000.00. Judges in this year’s event ceremony will consist of 30 individuals who are experts in the music industry, however, to create fairness, they will each be anonymous to each other and be spread out against the 34 categories. Entry is free to BOMU members while those who wish to sign up independently, will be expected to pay a sum of P500.00.
Modibe emphasized the need for artists who are pioneers, and or legends in the music industry to be celebrated at every milestone, to show appreciation for their handwork and dedication; and that something is in the works through BOMU. Moreover, a partnership is in place with The Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA) who will play an active role in giving counsel, the selection process and confirming genres of songs among other agreements with BOMU.
Artists are encouraged to put their music on streaming platforms such as iTunes, Deezer and Spotify, to contribute to their race in the various categories. “We will further have a database, that will store information of nominees and participants, that will help us to give a concrete report on BOMU awards in the long run and for future awards ceremonies to come,”Modibe said. There are plans in the pipeline, to also engage media more in the BOMU awards. “There is a podcast in the pipeline, a magazine as well, some projects we hope to see media taking active part in,” he added.
Chairman of BOMU, Phemelo Lesokwane said there is so much they have achieved in the nine months following their election of a new committee last year August which includes success in registering 400 new members to the union. “Our committee has managed to come up with a food relief program partnership with Chappies valued at P600 000.00 which saw our members receive groceries for a period of 3 months, “Lesokwane added. He also highlighted that backlog of returns with the Registrar has been cleared and they have managed to re-build trust and relationships with all other stakeholders such as Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Culture (MYSC) and Department of broadcasting Services (DBS).
BOMU has successfully lobbied against the complete cancellation of MYSC calendar events, and requested rather, that they be hosted virtually. “I would like to encourage creatives to join associations. All promoters must be members of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), all musicians to be members of BOMU, all designers must be members of Fashion association and all comedians be members of Comedy association, “said. Lesokwane explained that this is imperative so that all their bargaining power is not diminished. he has further called out for unity among artists, and encouraged them to resist the urge to destabilize the industry by forming rival associations.