The man behind South Africa’s annul Standard Bank Jazz Festival and who is also the owner of T Musicman, Peter Tladi, last week urged Batswana promoters to partner with foreign promoters so that they expose local artists. He said this at a two day workshop held at Gaborone Sun which was geared at instilling a common understanding of the promotion industry.
Addressing the promoters at the workshop organised by Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) in conjunction with the Department of Youth and Culture (DYC), Tladi, who is also the chairperson of South African Music Promoters Association (SAMA), pointed out that people fail to grab opportunities that are there. He encouraged local promoters to record their live shows on DVDs and give them to the Ministry of Tourism to sell.
“It is high time you put your shows on the internet so that people around the world can access them,” he said.
Tladi said that the cultural industry had always been taken as less of an industry. He said the DYC in SA has recently been labelled a party department because, in fulfilling its mandate, it sometimes has to host a variety of events.
“Botswana’s DYC should only govern and avoid entertaining like DYC in South Africa,” he said.
According to Tladi, the cultural industries have traditionally been poorly organised. He said there has been a limited commercial awareness on the part of most players about the potential that the industries have to contribute to the economy.
“It is high time we stand up and be serious with what we are doing,” he stated.
The President of BEPA, Soares Katumbela, urged the promoters to come together and put a collective goal so as to create common understanding amongst themselves as well as to be able to strategise and be able to accept feedback from customers. He said there is a need for promoters to learn from other successful institutions.
“The reason we brought renowned jazz promoter, Tladi, is because we wanted local promoters to benchmark from him and follow his footsteps,” said Katumbela. “As promoters, your vision should always be your actions, and you should open your minds so that you can learn from others because knowledge is power.”
For promoters to become a winning entertainment team, he said, they should always come together and have a platform on which they could disagree and agree. They should know each other so as to reflect who they are, hence determining their way forward. He also urged them to aim high and produce quality service.
“You should indicate if compared to the 90s, that things have changed.
Everything everyone does has an impact on his or her image. If a certain producer is viewed negatively, it will have an impact on this industry.”
Katumbela urged promoters to build and to improve their image and to avoid killing this industry which he said is promoting employment as well as diversifying the economy.
Principal Arts Administrator, Dean Molebatsi, was also present at the workshop. As promoters, Molebatsi said, they should be driven by vision which is economic diversification.
“We believe we cannot achieve this if we do ordinary things, hence there is a need for us to do extra-ordinary things so as to achieve our vision,” said Molebatsi. “We cannot achieve anything if we just sit back and do nothing.”
For promoters to achieve more, he said they have to work collectively, work together and have one voice.
“Arts and Culture are a sector which has been left behind and, as BEPA, we should grow so as to help it grow bigger,” he stated.
He urged the promoters to pave the road and guide those youngsters who would like to follow in their footsteps. He said this business should be taken seriously first by promoters. “Let us learn from others and as a region work together so that we can win this.”
Meanwhile, Thamsanqa Silitshena, of Sunshine ÔÇô Theater Production, said producers should have corporate mentality and proper structure to be able to run BEPA as a business.
“No man is an island. We need each other for this organization to grow,” he said.
In an interview with The Sunday Standard, BEPA Public Relations Officer, Shima Monageng, said that the music extravaganza, which followed the two day workshop, was meant to pave the way for local artists for South Africa’s Jazz festivals as well as the coming 2010 World cup.
“The auditions were held so that Tladi can select those artists who will perform in jazz festivals coordinated by T Musicman. He has taken some CDs to go listen to because he says watching is different from listening.” Monageng said. “We want to position ourselves so that our artists can really market themselves, and we are expecting a report from Peter Tladi in a week’s time.”