Wednesday, July 6, 2022

‘Imported’ SA comedians fail to tickle Botswana audience

Booed off-stage for what the 2011 Miss Botswana audience thought was a lacklustre performance, South African funny man, David Kau, had the last laugh as he pocketed P46 000 from the show’s organisers.

South Africa’s cultural domination extends to comedy even when there has been clear evidence that the quality of the material that the artists from across the border have to offer is not up to standard.

A few years ago, Maitisong at Maru-A-Pula School sent a group of young up-and-coming comedians to South Africa for training. At their very first show, their South African mentor (who in original mode, seemed to confuse the crassness of a Soweto construction site with comedy) committed the gravest artistic sin: he stole a joke Chris Rock told for an HBO comedy special that was filmed at the Apollo Theatre in New York.

On a night when his sense of humour was AWOL, Kau featured at the grand finale of the 2011 Miss Botswana pageant but did not impress the audience, which ended up booing him off-stage. That notwithstanding he was paid the P46 000.

The bigger earner though was fellow South African singer, Zakes Bantwini, who got a total of P65 000 – P35 000 for performing at a fashion show and P30 000 for the main event at the Gaborone International Convention Centre. The pair was flown to Gaborone for P10 800. The hotel accommodation was also paid for by 63 Entertainment, the Miss Botswana organisers.

Some Batswana also got their share of the cake. For his emceeing services at both the fashion show and the main event, Michael ‘Dignash’ Morapedi was paid a total of P20 000. Tshepho Ntshole, his co-host at the latter event, got P8000.

Shanti Lo was paid P15 000 for performing at the main event and the stylist, Mpho Laing, got P10 000. The branding of a combi for a trip to Jwaneng cost P4000, the cost of food for a Btv crew came to P1560 and the rental paid for the accommodation of the queen, Emma Wareus, was P26 000.

A certain Moses who choreographed a kung fu dance for the contestants was paid P6000 and the kung fu attire itself cost P2500. The cost of production for both the fashion show and the main event was a whopping P498 000 and total expenses came to a little over P1.5 million.

Okhola Rudd, a Botswana-born woman who is sister-in-law to former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, featured as a chaperone and was paid P6000.

Were the Botswana Council of Women and 63 Entertainment still in good terms, this information would still be under wraps. The two parties have fallen out and will soon be battling it out at the Lobatse High Court before Justice Abednico Tafa. Last week, BCW terminated its contract with 63 Entertainment, a company owned by Bissau Gaobakwe and Thapelo Pabalinga, on grounds the latter were in breach of a contract that the two parties entered into in March this year.

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