Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) has appealed to local radio stations to play 100% local airplay. BOMU President Fresh Lesokwane said there is need for Batswana to start appreciating local music, adding that it is disheartening to realise that local radio stations continue to give foreign music more platform.
“It is not only that we want local music to be given the platform to sell their music, we also want this to afford our local artists the opportunity to have their music played so that they can be better paid by COSBOTS,” said Lesokwane.
He further said discussions are ongoing with various stakeholders including the department of broadcasting services to encourage show producers to play more local content.
“DBS as you may know for instance is not regulated by BOCRA but we have also had meetings with BOCRA to plead with them to encourage local radio stations to play local music,” added Lesokwane.
Lesokwane stated that they are now planning to meet local radio stations in an effort to show them the importance of playing local music, also saying that it is about time local radio stations realise that playing international music results in foreign artists getting more money than locals.
“We have also met with COSBOTS to help us understand why they continue paying local artists small amounts of money. They told us that the problem is from local radio stations and we also understand their viewpoint,” said Lesokwane.
He stated that it has been proven over the years that the large chunk of money collected from local stations goes to international musicians.
“This is really affecting us because we want support for the locals so that we can grow our music industry. This should be the opportune time for all stakeholders to come together to ensure that local airplay is given the much needed support considering that artists have been struggling since the outbreak of covid-19,” said Lesokwane.
Meanwhile, just like other businesses, music artists have not been spared from the effects of covid-19.
Last year, Minister of youth empowerment, sport and culture development, Tumiso Rakgare assured artists that government will continue to provide them with support, stating that this will include the evaluation of relief fund. Rakgare said the fund will be expanded to ensure that it benefits some of them in no time.
He further encouraged the creative industry to self-regulate.