Artists union in the offing
Ngamiland District perfoming artists are grouping themselves up to form a union that would lobby for their talent to be recognised in national platforms.
One of the founders of the union which is yet to be registered, Aron Kebiditswe, a hip hop musician, popularly known as King Dikoma, says already, around 35 artists have registered with the proposed Ngamiland Artist union.
Among them are makeup artists, designers, musicians and poets; “We want our music to be played in national radio stations, we don’t want to be begging for slots when other artists such as Vee and others come to play in Maun. In some slots we play for free, we are not paid anything because we are told we are there to market ourselves, whilst the contracted artists get large sums of money.”
Behind the formation of the union according to Kebiditswe is the need for local artist to benefit from the growing tourism industry of Maun; “As you know, Maun is a gateway to the Delta, where all the dollars go. We therefore intend to promote Maun as a music tourism centre, where tourists will travel from the Delta to enjoy good and raw music by locals.”
Kebiditswe’s further contention is that, although there are many talented youngsters in Ngamiland, they are not known as they rarely get national media platforms to showcase their talent.
“If we cannot be seen on national television and radio stations,we have to create our own space. Our dream is to ultimately open a radio station in Ngamiland and even a television station. Maun is where all the fun is, where the money is, so we cannot continue to be poor when talent is plentiful in our midst,” added Kebiditswe.
Just this past weekend, local artists and bands performed live at BDP parliamentary candidate launch in Maun West. They shared the stage with internationally recognised and loved South Africa music groups; Dalom Kids, Matshikos and Peacock.
Kebiditswe maintains that it was due to their efforts as a union that they were called to perform, “It was the first time for us to get such a gig. We are not political activists, so we can perform at any political platform as long as we have been hired to do so.”
Kebiditswe added that, they hope to have completed the union’s registration by next year April as they hope to launch their annual artist festival then.
“We want to do it in summer and make it a permanent annual summer event in Maun,” he added.
Eligible members according to Kebiditswe are all artists in the entire District, that covers among other villages, Shakawe, Maun, Sehitwa, Gumare and Etsha.