GABORONE, BOTSWANA — Botswana’s high-riding talent manager, Sydney Nzala popularly known as DJ Boogie Sid says the reason why local music is on the decline is as a result of unprofessionalism vexing the industry. The outspoken disc jockey-cum-artist-manager said despite Botswana’s vastness and talent there are only less than 10 artists who do music professionally as their only source of income while the rest are in it for short-lived fame.
Speaking at the launch of Showbiz Entertainment Arts Africa Botswana (SEAfricaBW) at Culture Cafe in Gaborone recently, Boogie Sid said he learnt his lesson after the release of his debut House music album which was a hit but failed to monetize simply because then he was working as a banker therefore failed to act professionally for his music.
Boogie Sid has in the last two years revived his music career with a new role by managing the talent of his distant cousin, Han C thus helping to balloon his presence. “Music needs full time attention, this habit of making music as a hobby has killed many careers. This industry is facing a lot of challenges.
If you look back you will realise that Botswana was having artists such as Zeus and Fosta Juliano; both of them winning international awards and getting recognitions internationally however they have other ideas of how they could make easy cash flow outside music and they started other careers and their music careers suffered as they moved to executive roles. We should stop making music a second option.
As artists we need to move to professionalising things because it starts with a creator or artist’s drive to push their brands. Recently I have received a lot of requests from people asking me to manage their talent. This will essentially unearth the passion and the vision of a particular artists. Botswana has talent but artists in the current setup think performing at a club and a pub is what makes them be on top of their game.”
“When I took Han C I was looking at international claim. It’s a long process to succeed in music. We need patience to win over it. We can’t push government to manage us through the regulation of arts if we are not professional ourselves. Government works with pressure so if only few come up it won’t make any impact. Regulators need a group of influencers,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the president of Botswana Entertainment and Promoters Association (BEPA), Zenzele Hirschfeld expressed the same sentiments saying in most cases the music industry has not moved any steps in the last 20 years especially with regards to making strides as a contributor to the country’s GDP.
“The arts are frustrating. After managing different artists of different genres and stature I now look back in frustration. This is the time when the corporate sector could be given a command to put resources into the creative arts. Our artists don’t have anything to their names. We are doing nothing to celebrate these icons. We have forgotten our legends. After 18 years in this industry we haven’t moved in terms of mobilising funds and professionalism. That’s why some jump ship to find ways of making a living through other vocations,” added Hirschfeld.