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Preparations for the fifth annual Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC) are well underway. All artists and venues have been booked, the organisers say. “We are just counting down days to Botswana’s biggest music and culture event.” Arts & Society caught up with the events Founder Thapelo Fish Pabalinga regarding preparations for this year’s kaleidoscope of performing arts events.
The founder and organizer expressed delight at the way GIMC has grown from inception to date and expressed his gratitude to all those that have played a positive role in the establishment of the festival. With many local event organisers complaining about the lack of sponsorship for entertainment events Pabalinga thought it was necessary to make particular reference to the sponsorship from Budweiser, an international beer brand that has just recently also been the major sponsor for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
He says the 2018 line up of musicians maybe the best that GIMC has put up, having managed to secure top artists from the US in Musiq Soulchild alongside many other local acts like Sereetsi and The Natives, Mpho Sebina, and Samantha Mogwe among others.
“The mood in the GIMC family is upbeat, everyone is working to put together the best experience the entire week," he boasts.
Asked about the evolution of GIMC concept and what the future holds for the weeklong entertainment extravaganza, Pabalinga says GIMC has grown tremendously over the last five years. "We-have been able to grow into new niche markets, attracted non traditional sponsors. GIMC has also grown to become not just a big event in Botswana but throughout the region. It's humbling to see how many top local and international artists see value in performing on the respective GIMC stages.”
GIMC has grown from strength to strength since inception and it is an event to look forward to as it provides a wide array of talent and shows to select from. Even more heartwarming, Pabalinga says, is that the value chain established by the festival has also grown well to a point where “we can comfortably say we do have a positive impact on the greater Gaborone economy.” He says with a bit more support from relevant stakeholders GIMC can go on to become the biggest music and culture event in Africa. The weeklong festival is currently rated as one of the top 10 Music and Culture festival to attend in Africa, and Pabalinga has done all he can to ride on the impressive rating having recently undertaken an international media tour and doing interviews on SA’s ENCA, SABC, AFroView, Metro FM, and others. A first for any local event.
Pabalinga says hordes of people will be travelling from South Africa to attend GIMC 2018, and expects most Gaborone and surrounding hotels to have already availed packages for visiting tourists, adding even more value to cultural tourism. “Botswana is well positioned to take advantage of its peace and tranquility and if well cultivated, cultural tourism can be a big revenue earner for the country and create employment that is so needed in this country.”
The 2018 series of events will see the likes of Musiq Soulchild (US), Master KG, Nasty C(SA), Somizi (SA), Lady Zamar (SA), Sjava (SA), Prince Kaybee (SA), Vee, KTM Choir, Tips Shampooniza grace the weeks activities. This year’s event is held under the theme: Celebrate diversity, Celebrate with GIMC.
Pabalinga says the objective of GIMC is to among others: Promote local tourism
; Afford an opportunity to those trading in the creative arts to network and showcase their talents; Create platform for local artists and culture to forge partnerships with international peers; Create platform for Botswana brands to reach out locally and internationally; boost local economy (hotels, transport, restaurants, services etc.); Employment creation for the youth; Showcase Botswana culture to the outside world; and Celebrate the city of Gaborone.