BOMU women wing formed for the cause
If you ever wondered what happened to your favorite female entertainer who had a promising career, they have probably given up on music because of the rife sexual exploitation within the industry.
Most cases, it is said, go unreported either in the media or with law enforcement.
According to the newly formed Botswana Musician Union women wing Chairperson, Zenzele Hirschfield, Botswana has lost out on great artists because of sexual abuse.
Voice Entertainment caught up with Hirschfield who gave an insight into why the need for the establishment of the women’s wing.
According to the veteran promoter, the women’s wing will be independent of the mother union.
According to a statement released by the mother union, BOMU, the decision was prompted by the increasing unreported cases of sexual exploitation that have ripple effects on the individual victims.
“The resolution was further emphasized by a need to attend to rising concerns on sexual abuse against female musicians who at most times find themselves within a male-dominated industry, that to survive they are subjected to sexual abuse and associated gender-based harassment,” reads the statement.
Hirschfield says throughout her career, she too has been faced with such uncompromising situations.
“I will not sit here and tell you I have not found myself in those situations where you are literally given an ultimatum by the so-called men in a position of power. I have been fortunate enough that ‘tota hela nna’ I am a fighter and I have been able to bully my way through, but what about those women who are not as resilient as I am,” Hirschfield shared.
According to Hirschfield who could not share any statics, the situation is a dire one that needs urgent intervention.
“In most instances, producers will tell the female artists that they should come for a studio session at night so that they could take advantage of them. Such cases go unreported because the producers most often have a larger portfolio than the young girls and often overshadow them,” Hirschfield said.
The women’s wing will officially be launched on March 8th on international women’s day where the team will lay out their road map.
“Most great artists have been one-hit wonders because of this scenario I’m telling you about. It is often reduced to gossip but it is disheartening to meet great female entertainers who were once destined for greatness being reduced to nothing because they gave their mind and heart to this man and suffocated their career,” she said.
Drugs, sex, and alcohol are said to be the order of the day for most female artists to get by in Botswana.
“The strong survive but most are engulfed and disappear after a few heartbreaks. Some are often chucked away in history and their name crops up as a ‘by the way where is she’,” Hirschfield adds.
The BOMU women’s wing, Hirschfield says, intends to document all these and change the industry for the better.
The committee led by Hirschfield also includes Philadelphia Motladiile, Unami Unacell Sello, Nnunu Ramogotsi-Neil, Magdeline Lesolebe also known as Charma Gal, Rati Saint, Neo Lekomela, Ayanda Letsholo, and Chinyepi Seeletso.