Promoter of the initiative, ’70 percent operation local music’ and also Director at Gilbert Promotions, Gilbert PP wa Pimp Seagile says that it is long overdue since the local content has been awarded 40 percent over 60 percent of international airplay, locally.
Their research notes that there is so much local content produced but still overwhelmed by international airplay in the ratio of 40:60 percent airplay. They therefore saw it fit to try and change this because of the findings that local artistes have enough content to be presented at a higher percentage. On the other hand, he shares that Botswana is the only country that plays more international content than local content within the Southern African region.
“Regardless of the small population of Botswana, musicians present at least 50 different songs on average on a day at a radio station, as per what we have gathered at Duma FM, and this means at least 350 new music is produced in a week in the country, so we want this music to be given more chance so that the artistes are known for what they have produced. We wish to have 70 percent local content and 30 percent of international content,” said Seagile. He shared that in Namibia, it’s 50:50 percent ratio and they are vying to also make it 70:40 ratio to give local content more coverage. He adds that in Eswatini, South Africa and Zimbabwe they already have a higher percentage for local content because the idea is to motivate the local artistes and sell them internationally too.
Asked if the quality that the local musicians produce is competent enough to be shared internationally and occupy the 70 percent margin, Seagile said that local talent has grown tremendously and only needs more publicity.
“The reason we have stagnant growth in our industry is because people do not get to know some of the music produced locally because, it takes time for the music to be played. I am confident that the quality of our music is fine and that is why we want to elevate artistes like Vee or Charma Gal to the international platform and have others also reaching their level. This can only happen if their music is well known,” he said, adding that they are hopeful that this can also reduce hiring international artistes or at least groom local artistes to be booked outside too.
“Forty percent airplay just limits our music industry and it has been a very long time that we have played more of international music,” reiterated Seagile. He adds that promoters outside the country earn a lot more than the local ones because of the current airplay as it creates demand and controls the market. He clarifies that their team is made up of relevant people, including lawyers, and they look forward to be working with other music associations in Southern Africa.
Seagile further highlights that the initiative would also boost the cultural exchange between countries because some people in the neighboring countries listen to Botswana radios. He says they also plan to draw parliament and the cabinet to also take part in this initiative, just like they did with the Steve Harvey initiative. “It is only through partnership that we can grow our music industry,” he said.
They plan to have a press conference on February 15th and they expect advocates from ECASA, South Africa, CRAN-Namibia and economists to be present as they try to map out how this would benefit the GDP of the country. According to him, musicians are excited about the campaign and they are also thankful to the radios for their support. “Radios are currently in support of this campaign and elders in the industry like Alfred Mosimanegape aka Alfredo Mos and Shima Monageng are helping us through this,” said Seagile.