BTO misses rose, kisses thorn

02nd March 2018
WE CAN’T SAY MORE: Keitumetse Setlang of BTO Source:The Midweek Sun


By Sun Reporter - Reporter

It would appear that Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) has money to splurge on concerts and enriching international artistes at the expense of local talent. The first-ever Baskets and Song concert, initially scheduled for 10 March, that was slated to feature Seal as well as other artistes from Botswana and neighbouring countries has been postponed following alleged contractual disagreements. Indications reaching us are that BTO contravened the contractual agreement with the ‘Kiss by a rose’ hit singer of the 90s, who had already been paid a sum of P3.2million and decided he would not come to Botswana. When contacted for comment, Communications Manager at BTO Keitumetse Setlang refused to be drawn to comment and said they had stated their point at a previous press briefing held last week.

At the briefing, BTO presented the stand that the concert had indeed been postponed and would be held at a later date. They refused to divulge further details indicating that this would contravene their contractual obligations. But this move has rubbed a few local artistes the wrong way. One local artiste who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that BTO claimed to be an organisation that represented local talent but was willing to give a “has been” so much money. “Our local music artistes are struggling but all that money is given to someone who has had one hit.

Who listens to Seal anyways?” But the outspoken rapper Scar did not hide behind a finger. He took to social media and blasted the organisation, writing a status update that read: “HanC makes good music and gets P5000 at an awards ceremony but Seal gets P3.2 million and he is not even coming.” It is not the first time that organisations geared at branding the country and bringing in tourism have come under fire. In 2014, then Brand Botswana, spent P200, 000 on controversial US rapper JaRule (real name Jeffery Atkins), and he was given a diamond on his departure. The organisation argued that the rapper would “market the country to the rest of the world.”

Ironically, during his tour of local mines and sorting facilities, the rapper, who had been booked for a show here, had admitted that he did not know about Botswana and its diamonds, noting that he thought African diamonds came from Sierra Leone. There have not been any tangible returns on this unlikely “investment” in the now ageing rapper.

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