‘Due to Covid19 creatives are no different from beggars on the street’
Frank Lesokwane, popularly known as Franco released a new hit song recently titled “Motho yo ke Ofe”, which is making waves across the nation. The legendary rhumba kwasakwasa artist said he was inspired to release the song following extreme backlash from fans for staying hidden for too long. “People had started circulating rumors that I was down and out since it has been a while since I released new music, as if they are unaware of the effects of Covid-19 on our industry,”he said.
He further explained that he hoped to send a message reminding society and fans alike, that he is still there and producing music amid the pandemic. While Franco acknowledges and appreciates the immense support and appreciation of his new released song, he is disheartened by the rate at which it is being pirated. “You will realize that society nowadays doesn’t buy our music like before, rather they share it on social media platforms like WhatsApp and this is affecting sales,” he mentioned. Fortunately for him, he has started uploading his music on online platforms such as iTunes, Spotify and Deezer to help boost sales and circulation on an international level.
The hitmaker said he is not too keen on the upcoming Botswana Music Union (BOMU) Awards, as he is not completely satisfied with the transparency. He further explained that it is difficult to understand the judging system over the years, as often times long standing artists are put in the same category as young and upcoming artists. “I think if perhaps they categorized us according to age, and history in the music industry, we would better appreciate the results,” he suggested. Furthermore, Franco does not find the awards financially rewarding. “More often than not, an artist will spend a great deal of money and resources trying to secure as much votes only to end up with a title and financial losses, that’s why it seems like I am not invested in the awards,” Franco explained. Nonetheless, he appreciates the union, citing that he is a member of BOMU and continues to show unwavering support to the cause.
According to Franco, the coronavirus pandemic has completely crippled the entertainment industry, and it is especially worse for him as everything was shut down on the eve of what would be one of his biggest concerts yet. “We have nothing to sustain ourselves as creatives and are no different from beggars on the street,” he said. He also explained that while they wish to diversify and start-up businesses that would bring in some income, it is difficult for them as they have little to no capital to execute their business ideas.