However, Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) vice president, Shima Monageng announced at a press briefing that the President would not be available to receive the accolade but would delegate.
Botswana’s artists nominated for the 2015 African Muzik Magazine Awards(AFRIMA) left on Thursday (October 8) to attend the much anticipated award show scheduled for October 10, at Black Academy of Arts & Letters at Dallas, USA.
The quartet; Zeus, Vee, Samantha Mogwe and Punah were nominated early this year. Vee and Zeus are nominated on the same category for the best Southern African male artist accolade, while Punah Gabasiane and Samantha Mogwe are for the best Southern African female artist.
Meanwhile, Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) hasexpressed displeasure with regard to lack of support from the business community and government. Addressing the media in Gaborone recently, Monageng described their journey as not easy, “we thought that the fact that we won this prestigious award, we hoped that leaders will endorse this success with appreciation” he said. He said such awards were capable of selling this country to the world.
He expressed disappointment that they did not get enough funding despite the importance of the AFRIMMA awards to this industry. He said BEPA, as the recipient of the prestigious transformational award was supposed to have hosted a pre-party, but due to the unavailability of funds, nothing materialised. “As an association we feel we failed to grab this opportunity to sell our country to the world,” he said.
Due to lack of funding, only the nominees will travel to US. “Our intention was to include a traditional group to perform and showcase our cultural identity to the world but we failed,” said Monageng. They said they were grateful for the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture’s assistance. Monageng said, the worst scenario was that BEPA would be going to these awards without paying the affiliation fee to AFRIMA something he described as unfortunate due to financial constraints.
On behalf of the nominees, Vee expressed gratitude towards the support the artists got from the supporters. He said about a decade ago he was nowhere and did not think that one day he would represent the country on international stage. “We are going to represent our country, and raise the blue, black and white flag high so that the world stands to know about this beautiful country,” said Vee. He also added that despite the hiccups they were facing, they would showcase their talent, adding that “we want to show the world that Botswana have talent, it is an opportunity we are not going to waste”. Artists are expected to engage in different workshops in the USA, the afro jazz songbird Punah Gabasiane will not travel to Dallas due to other commitments. (BOPA)