P15m Artist Fund May Face Pushback

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P15m Artist Fund May Face Pushback
P15m Artist Fund May Face Pushback

Africa-Press – Botswana. The second edition of the DBS roadshow aimed at supporting Botswana’s creative industry with a reported P15 million funding from the Ministry of State is finding itself entangled in political clashes and accusations of sabotage by employees of the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS).

The project is to be launched next month.

In 2022, the DBS – which falls under the purview of the Ministry of State – engaged Big Dawg Productions of DJ Fresh to foster development of the country’s creative industry.

Nationwide roadshows

The project involved conducting nationwide roadshows during which the department’s platforms (radio and television) were used to engage with creatives across all 53 constituencies.

According to records obtained,the total budget for the project in the previous year had amounted to P9 million. Of this, over P3 million was allocated to compensate performing artists.

A notable participation of 1377 creatives took part in the project. Additionally, more than P600,000 was allocated for accommodation while P150,000 was donated to various communities as part of the initiative.

Laudation

However, reports suggesting that the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture (MYSC), Tumiso Rakgare, may be unhappy with the project being rolled out by the Ministry of State when it is his ministry that has the portfolio responsible for the creative industry have surfaced.

It appears that Minister of State, Kabo Morwaeng, has been singled out for laudation by President Mokgweetsi Masisi for implementation of the project, fuelling alleged tensions between the two ministers.

“The creative sector has been complaining for years about the shoddy treatment they receive from MYSC,” said a source.

Misconceptions

“It is unfortunate that there are attempts to sabotage the second edition of the project by a bunch of disgruntled government officers because of reasons best known to themselves. They have created misconceptions about the project.”

Just last week, the MP for Jwaneng-Mabutsane, Mephato Reatile, was telling Parliament that he was disturbed by the manner in which the project was conceived, claiming that it was one of “many projects” awarded to friends under direct appointment by Office of the President.

Meanwhile, the project report states that some of the challenges that the project faced include a delayed start and non-alignment of DBS staff to project objectives and deliverables.

Opportunities missed

“Opportunities to achieve some deliverables were missed at the beginning due to misalignment between the DBS staff and the project objectives,” it says. “Also, certain content that could have been captured/recorded was not and the opportunity was lost.”

Attempts to reach Minister Rakgare proved futile as his phone was not answered on Tuesday afternoon.

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