Thursday, April 18, 2024

Local artists collaborate to tackle Youth voter apathy

Two local producers from Gaborone-based Sound Bank studios have recorded a song in a move to encourage eligible youth to register to vote in large numbers.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) spokesperson, Osupile Maroba, confirmed that there would be yet another supplementary registration in May. The IEC had set their voters registration target for this years’ general election at 1.2 million or 80% of the 1.4 million eligible voters, out of a new population of over two million people.

The song is meant to recruit youth volunteers and build awareness amongst the youth, who are the most apathetic when it comes to voting.

Though it has been reported that first-time voters make up most of the population, the song is meant to sensitise the youth on the importance of registering for the polls as it was disappointing that they failed to reach the IEC target.

The producers, Keabetswe ‘Teknoize’ Ragalase and Obusitse Motshidi say they have thus far managed to feature many popular local artists on the track.

Amongst many others the artists include Dramaboi, ATI, Eskimos, Orakle, Scar, Moruti Million, Modiratiro, and Khabba khabba, Chaoke Da Ruler, Lesh D, Noello, Sasa Klass, Ozi F Teddy, Euri, Amanandos, Ruxion, PK Maada and Kast.

“We are currently receiving a lot of support from many other local artists like Charma Gal from Culture Spears,” said Ragalase.

He said they featured as many artists to make the song more appealing. Obusitse Motshidi added that the track dubbed ‘Young Voters Rock Anthem’ would be ready next week as they are in the distribution stage of releasing the mix tape.

The song which has debuted on Yarona Fm, the most youthful radio station, will soon extensive airplay on other radio stations such as Duma Fm, Gabs Fm, and Radio Botswana one and two.

The two producers say they did not even bother to engage different stakeholders such as the IEC because their movement is a non-partisan and non-profit making initiative.

In the past, there have been songs such as ‘Ditlhopho Ditsile’ by celebrated guitarist Joe Morris, which were specially commissioned by the IEC to try and encourage people to vote. Such contemporary songs have since faded out.

“There are no statistics to show why the youth have been the most apathetic voters, though they make up most of the population,” said Deputy Statistician General, Dabilani Buthali, during a press conference recently to officially announce the 2011 Population and Housing Census,

Now that there is a new population of just over two million, eligible voters out of that population was 1.4 million.

The IEC has now set a target of 1.2 million, after realising that only a third of those who registered comprised of the youth.

Veteran disc jockey and aspiring independent Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central constituency Sidney ‘Dj Sid’ Baitsile (Mokoko), has highly applauded this move by the young producers as smart and forward thinking. “This is a very patriotic gesture by Sound Bank and I thank them for continuing to play a pivotal role in the build up towards Octobers’ general elections.”


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