The 2nd Mascom/BOMU Awards held last year in November were glitziest yet but left in their trail, disgruntled musicians who questioned the criteria used for selecting the nominees and winners.
Gomolemo Motswaledi, who was the chief judge of a team of five adjudicators that comprised of Dikarabo Ramadubu, Daniel Mogami, Gavin Pringle and Shima Monageng. Motswaledi presented an adjudicators report to the musicians present, and a Mascom Wireless marketing department representative at the Civic Centre on Thursday to emphasise Botswana Musician Union’s transparency, and give artists an opportunity to ask questions.
The report included all BOMU submissions, and the adjudication criteria used in the different categories; which included production quality, originality and sleeve design and packaging, and the final results that comprised of 60 to 40 ratios of judges to sms votes.
Afro-pop artist, Shabisto, disputed the inclusion of categories such as best-packaged album, which had not been advertised. Motswaledi answered that the sleeve inlays were left to the adjudicators, as it would have been complicated to administer a public vote. Similarly, Motswaledi mentioned that the Record Company of the Year award should have been left to the adjudicators, as the public is yet to understand the exact functions of a recording company.
The report was concluded with the adjudicators recommendations of ways of adding value to the awards; amongst others by establishing sales tracking devices to be used and possibly increasing the judges deliberation to 70% and reduce sms voting to 30% to have results dependent on artistic consideration rather than popularity consideration.
The report also suggested specifications of when music was produced, released and recorded to avoid unfinished products being entered for awards.
Bafana Phempherethe Pheto, President of BOMU, fervently reproved the musicians who he called responsible for causing the furore about the awards show, as neither of them had turned up to the presentation of the adjudication report.
“Big name artists who are rarely present at BOMU meetings were using the media to spread incorrect reports, disputing matters that have been openly discussed and agreed upon at BOMU meetings and misleading younger musicians.”
He spoke of a petition, which had been making the rounds amongst musicians that demanded that the BOMU be dissolved. “We have 19 names here, only 8 which are registered BOMU members. Our industry is very young,” Pheto said, “do not follow established artists insistence on breaking it down.”
Pheto also rebuked the media for making a career out of breaking associations up.