The beginning of another year always gives people the chance to rectify and make new plans. While the public is busy redefining resolutions some of which never saw the light of day in the previous year, various organisations and sectors across the country are also feverishly working on their own resolutions.
Eleven days into the new-year, the arts and culture industry is also already gearing up for another unforgettable twelve months. BG Style spoke to representatives from Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU), Maitisong and Thapong Visual and got first hand information about their exciting plans.
One of these organisations that ended the year on a high note is BOMU. In December the union held its first awards since 2008. As part of its on-going efforts to raise funds for BOMU, the first ever Miss BOMU pageant was held. Berry Heart was crowned the winner and as expected would crown the new queen this year.
With regards to the awards, the organising committee for the awards is expected to meet in the coming weeks. Having held successful awards in 2012 amidst challenges, some corporate companies have supposedly already shown an interest to come on-board.
Speaking during an interview, BOMU’s Secretary General Pugson Ntsie revealed that one of their interesting events in 2013 would be elections of the new executive. According to the constitution, the elections would be held either on the second week of July or the first week of August. He said that positions that will be contested for would include those of the President, Vice President Finance and Research, as well as one additional. The current committee was elected in 2010.
Elections for the other remaining positions including those of Vice President Administration, Secretary General and two additional members would be held in 2014. He said the District Chapters would be eligible to vote the individuals who would fill these positions. Ntsie also cautioned those who were interested in standing for the elections to avoid campaigning before time. “Action will be taken against those who might try to campaign earlier,” he said.
He said that another highlight on their calendar this year would be the celebration of the Top Seven winners from the recently held BOMU awards. The celebration will be in the form of a Winners Bash to be held sometime in February.
While the music fraternity is busy with their plans, the visual arts through Thapong Visual Arts Centre are equally busy with their own plans. The Coordinator of the Centre, Reginald Bakwena disclosed during an interview that part of their plans this year would include to continue with their mandate of exhibitions. This year, however, he noted that they were planning to hold more group exhibitions in order to give their members a wider platform.
“We want to cater for all our members because we noted that solo exhibitions were limiting,” he said. He also said that they were also planning to develop the skills of their members through a workshop that will deal with professionalism. Bakwena said that the workshop would empower them with skills on approaching the market.
“It is one of our ways of taking our industry forward and improving quality. It will be very useful as they can use some of these skills when they are getting ready for competitions,” he noted. Apart from their annual programmes, Thapong is also looking at adding new programmes to their calendar such as Family Art Days that offer interactive sessions between the public and member. The centre is also planning to interact with school art clubs.
“We are still looking at schools that we will work with in this project,” he said. Maitisong is also working on their annual events. The Director of Maitisong, Gao Lemmenyane, disclosed in an interview that they were already working on the annual Maitisong festival. Lemmenyane said that one of the changes in the festival would be on the duration of the festival.
He also said that they were looking at other additions that would include organising a parade in Gaborone as a way of raising awareness and promoting the festival. The parade will be held on April 13th. Maitisong Festival will be held between April 9th and will go on until April 20th.
“We want Gaborone to come to a standstill during the festival. We are also looking at putting together an Arts Village and are considering holding it at GSS grounds. As part of the programme, the public can go there to see live shows, and exhibits,” he said. Amongst some of the shows that will highlight the Festival is an Opera Festival, titled the No 1 Ladies Opera Festival. It will be held from April 10th-20th.
He also noted that the festival that would be run by Lindsay Feldmeth from the USA would be offering classes on opera and piano playing. Other plans for the festival would include a play by the Maruapula Drama Department that is based on a play about Shaka Zulu.
He further said that this year they were re-launching The Company (an arts collective made up of theatre, dance and music). The company was established around 2002, and would be launched through a play that tackles financial literacy. The play will open with a VIP show on April 12th. It will officially open to the public on April 13, and can be seen on the following dates (April 18, 24, 25, 26, and 27).