Unearthing the new economic gem.
That is the underlying message for the 2017 annual Botswana International Music Conference (BIMC). While the 2016 event placed more emphasis on grooming the less known faces behind the music such as artist managers, producers, engineers, and promoters, this year’s conference is more about maximising the benefi ts of the music industry as a whole.
It is about harnessing the synergy between different players within the music business and obtaining maximum benefi ts for the industry. The organiser, Seabelo Modibe, says they also aim to continue their efforts to promote entertainment tourism as an alternative to ecotourism.
“The conference has grown signifi cantly over the past two years ,” he tells Lifestyle. “This is an international conference not some workshop. We have got speakers who are big players in the music business here in Botswana and abroad.” He says they have selected the 2017 BIMC speakers based on content delivery and experience in the industry.
Anthony Cole, from the US, is expected to be one of the major speakers at the conference. “He’s an all-rounder,” Modibe says. Cole, Modibe says, is coming here free of charge save for flight and accommodation costs. “That’s how much he believes in Africa’s potential,” Modibe says, adding “Nigerian music has demonstrated that there is growing demand for African music.”
Cole is the Chief Executive Offi cer of Complex Entertainment, a company dedicated to simplifying the fusion of music and fi lm with other industries.
“He has worked with famous artists that include Chris Brown, Jay Sean, Kelly Rowland, Solange Knowles, Beyonce, Omarion, and Drake,” Modibe says.
MTN Bushfi re Festival founder Jiggs Thorne is also expected to grace the conference. He is a poet, artist, and entrepreneur. The annual Bushfi re festival, held in Swaziland, attracts more than 15 000 fans with at least 3000 coming from outside Swaziland. The three day festival features top international and regional artists in theatre, music and interactive performance. It celebrates and encourages positive societal change, as well as playing a major role in the country’s tourism and contributing signifi cantly to GDP.
“ThorneHe has turned his father’s farm into a money spinning entertainment center and a platform for young upcoming artists to share a stage with big players in the industry,” Modibe says, adding “And he understands the struggles promoters face when it comes to suitable venues.”
Sipho Dlamini of South Africa’s annual Standard Bank Joy of Jazz will also be here to scout for talent, Modibe says. Brad Holmes of Bassline Africa Day Festival (SA) will also be part of the BIMC.
Mandla Maseko, Vice Chairman of Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition (SA) is expected to give a presentation on music distribution. “Music distribution remains a major stumbling block for local artists,” Modibe says. Moshito is AfricaÔÇ║s premier event for the music industry to engage on the business of music and has positioned itself as a platform for the music industry businesses and organizations, small enterprises, artists, and musicians to engage the business of music. Since 2004 Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition has established itself as AfricaÔÇ║s premiere music industry event.
Sphe Mbele of KZN Music Imbizo will also be one of the speakers. He has been a feature at BIMC since inception. Another regional speaker will be Azgo Festiva (Mozambigue)’s Jess White. Those who make up the lineup of local speakers include Yarona FM Station Manager Kelly Ramputswa, and Radio Broadcasting Consultant Owen Rampha both of whom will speak on broadcasting issues and local content. First National Bank Botswana’s Obonye Malope will address fi nancial literacy and branding issues. Massie Hule , event manager and record label owner will present on challenges faced by local promoters. Gaborone International Music and Culture week (GIMC)’s Thapelo Pabalinga is also one of the local speakers.
He is also expected to address the issue of event organizing especially following the controversy surrounding the 2017 GIMC stampede. The incident has since triggered a change in regulations guiding the hosting of entertainment events. There will be many other local and South African experts speaking at the conference. Modibe says the two day conference, scheduled for New Capitol Cinemas (Masa Centre) on November 30-December 1st is already fully booked. “Registration has closed.”