When he addressed the media at the start of his national tour, DJ Fresh revealed that he was earning much more than he did when he worked as radio deejay in South Africa. So, how much is the Botswana government paying him?
Sunday Standard reached out to the Ministry of State President on Wednesday but had not heard back from it in time for publication. That notwithstanding, good sources tell us that DJ Fresh will be pocketing P8 million for his 50-stop tour.
There have been murmurings of discontent about DJ Fresh getting this lucrative deal. While he cut his teeth in deejaying in Botswana, DJ Fresh bloomed as a DJ in South Africa where he has lived for the past 28 years. Some feel that the deal should have been offered to deejays who have long plied their trade here at home for years. In that regard, the names of two DJs with Radio Botswana 2 experience have been mentioned.
However, DJ Fresh is by far the most accomplished deejay that Botswana has ever produced. Very early on in his career (1994, when he would have been 22) and after dropping out of the University of Botswana, he crossed the border into South Africa to study for a Diploma in Media Studies at Boston Media House. In his final year, he got a gig at YFM and would spend eight years at the station until moving to 5FM. From there, he moved to Metro FM and later 947 – he was fired from both radio stations. In addition to the deejaying, DJ Fresh has also done television work on Idols SA, SA’s Got Talent and Tropika Island of Treasure SA. He has also repeatedly played international shows in the First World where industry standards are extremely high and the competition uncommonly fierce. DJ Fresh is said to have helped popularise house music in Southern Africa.
While there is no question that an OG like DJ Fresh is more than qualified to school youngbloods on the ins and outs of the game, there are questions about how he clinched this deal – especially at a time that the government claims to be Third World-broke. In our questions to the Ministry of State President, we had sought to know which party approached the other.
The involvement of high-level officials at the Ministry in this deal has also raised eyebrows. In part, that is precisely because DJ Fresh’s deal comes so soon after another controversial and even more lucrative deal that was superintended by the same ministry. Sources tell us that some officers at Mass Media Complex, who should have been at the forefront of this deal, are actually clueless about its finer points.
The other deal involves Steve Harvey, an African-American comedian and TV host who seems to have become a friend to President Mokgweetsi Masisi after the latter’s ascension to executive office. His company, Steve Harvey Global has inked a P470-million television and radio production deal with the Department of Broadcasting Services, which is also based at the Mass Media Complex. For a period of time last year, the Botswana Congress Party protested this deal but has since gone radio-silent.
About the hat detail: in 2020, as Covid-19 wreaked havoc across the nation, the Ministry of Educations and Skills Development suddenly remembered that pupils need enough toilets to cater for the entire pupil population. In the resulting confusion and scramble, a Mogoditshane contractor was paid P1 million for the construction of a single matchbox toilet block.