Music industry bleeds as COVID-19 strikes
The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has dealt the local arts industry a heavy blow. By Tuesday morning social media was awash with statements of either postponements or cancellation of many festivals scheduled for the coming weeks.
Government too issued a statement announcing the suspension of social gatherings that include conferences, Religious activities, Night clubs/Bars, Parties and music concerts as well as public gatherings of more than 100 people.
Responding to the frustrating news, BEPA Secretary General, Sidney Nzala (Boogie Sid) who was fresh from an impromptu meeting called by the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development (MYSC) Tumiso Chilliboy Rakgare with artists and promoters on the very issue said, “We totally understand the position of Government and we will abide by the rules.
It is really impossible for us to say NO or to act otherwise because this is a health concern. We are just hoping and praying this total shutdown will not last long.”
Voice Entertainment reporters SHARON MATHALA and KABELO DIPHOLO take a look at an industry on its knees.
#GIMC family Fun Day
An event that kick starts excitement ahead of the one weeklong Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC) main events dubbed the (GIMC) Family Fun day has been halted.
This was confirmed by the brains behind the event, Thapelo “Fish” Pabalinga.
He said, “The GIMC Family Fun Day that was scheduled for Saturday April, 4th, 2020 at Bojanala Waterfront has been postponed to a later date to be announced in due course.
The Corona Virus, (COVID-19) is a serious health hazard that cannot be risked and certainly not with children around,” Pabalinga said.
#Jameson connects Botswana
An event that was set for April 25th at a secret venue dubbed Jameson Connects Botswana has also been put on hold.
The organisers of the event have said that an alternative date will be communicated later on in the year should the COVID-19 pandemic subside.
“Communication regarding refund for ticket holders will be shared accordingly,” reads a statement from the organisers.
#Avani lifestyle with DJ Zinhle
Dj Zinhle was awarded the coveted Forbes Woman Africa entertainment award just a week ago after enjoying headlines with her ever-public split with rapper boyfriend AKA.
Dj Zinhle was however expected to grace the Avani Lifestyle event scheduled for April 18 but the event has also suffered a major blow.
The event organisers have not shared an upcoming date.
#Mascom horse race derby- Maun
The annual event billed for April 11 dubbed Mascom Horse Race Derby set to be hosted in the tourist town of Maun has also been placed on temporary suspension, The event will now be hosted on July 19th.
Held annually at the Shashe Horse Race Tracks venue the event has over the years been a favorite over the Easter holidays in Maun.
#Fashion without boarders
The annual Fashion without Boarders (FWB) event which was set to mark its 6th year since inception has also been pushed to August 2020 from the initial date of April 13th.
The event, which was set to also include the much anticipated Fashion Unpacked master class featuring South African socialite Mohale Motaung, Kaone Kario, Mothusi Lesolle, Thula Sindi , Peter Yuri and Pat Dambe has also been called off for now.
#Toropo ya muka
What would Francistown be without the annual TYM in May?
The event, which conveniently coincided with the Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair on May 30, has been postponed to Independence Eve on September 29th.
Founded by Bonno Ngaka aka DJ Colastraw, Toropo Ya Muka (TYM) is on its sixth year and is one of the biggest events in the second city.
From its inception the show’s mandate was to empower Francistown based artists by giving them a platform to share the stage with key industry players.
#Rock the block fest
The Dinokeng Block Party planned for the 11th of April was supposed to feature two Francistown based DJs in DJ Chronic and DJ Deuce in Ramonaka.
Headlined by Master KG, African Yard and Ancestral Rituals, it was supposed to be their biggest edition after successfully staging it for the last three years.
An event organised by Modiri “Mod Mo” Mokgothu and Thuto “DJ Stu” Thebe from Gold Vinyl Tainment and Labrious Entertainment respectively, the Rock the Block Fest is one of the few local gigs hosted twice a year.
It alternates between the five villages of Malolwane, Sikwane, Ramonaka, Mabalane and Mmathubudukwane.
#Meet and greet
An intimate session at Cresta Thapama’s ‘The Room’ has been indefinitely postponed.
Organiser DJ Cue of Cue Beat Productions confirmed this.
The quartet of YDJ, Lerato Modiega (Yarona FM), Regalo Zawadi and DJ Cedeea were supposed to bring the house down this Friday.
Cue had to pull the plug on the popular Friday gig as night crawlers are encouraged to stay indoors.
Planned for the 11th of April at Kwa-Bai Farm in Lenstweletau MC Maswe, Slizer and company were also forced to postpone their event in line with the advice given by World Health Organisation and The Ministry of Health and Wellness.