GABORONE, Botswana, March 2020/ — A multi-million Pula annual music event dubbed Hamptons Jazz Festival under the tutelage of the controversial yet ambitious Ramotswa-born promoter, Debbie Smith has vowed that imminently or at least in the next few years, local artists will have a chance to grace the United Kingdom’s Hamptons Court stage – all credit to her efforts.
Smith together with her business partner Star Ngwenya benchmarked from the UK’s Hamptons Court in London where they work an 8-5 in Forensic Psychiatry and brought the idea home back in 2013 although they started staging in 2014.
Speaking to the media last week at a flamboyant, money-can-buy press conference that had a glare of how the VIP will be treated like, Smith oozed with confidence when talking about exporting local talent to a country she lived in since 1997 thus knows all the ins and outs of London.
“The idea is to take local talent to the UK and perform. We have some of the world’s best artists such as Charmagal, Franco, and Vee among others. After having Hamptons locally, we have come a long way to present our project’s outcomes. The Hamptons is by far the biggest temporary employer of a one-day music festival with over 50 sales assistants across the country. We have also as a veteran music show now, brought other shows to our space to push their sales such as African Fleek,” said Smith confidently.
Since launching her brand back in 2014, Debbie has never really had it easy but her resilience and passion for growing Botswana music beyond our shores saw her persevere against all odds. Although she kissed and made up with the local media who had boycotted all Hamptons activities until Debbie apologized, a few distressing issues still persist to dog the nonchalant music promoter.
Meanwhile, it’s all systems go for the 28th March at Grand Aria Stadium in Tlokweng as all roads are expected to lead to yet another Hampton’s jazz festival experience.
“All the permits surrounding hosting the event of this magnitude will be met, we are closing deals with a formidable security company to ensure the safety of our patrons,” said Gaone Motshwana, Hamptons jazz festival logistics manager.
Meanwhile Hamptons jazz festival’s assigned artists manager, Tendai Kuzora encouraged all local artists to always act professionally and demand their technical riders from promoters especially if they want to be on par with internationals artists. He said such professionalism might open gates for future international collaborations. His homily was coming from the media’s questions as why local artists are always left in no man’s land especially after performances while their counterparts are given royal treatment.
“Sometimes it’s about not knowing your demands, as of now all artists are expected to be back stage 45 minutes before their performances, its there in every ones contract. As a promoter you are the one who needs artists therefore they should specify their demands confidently, at least that’s what I have learnt from my years in the promoter’s space”.
Since its inception, Hampton’s jazz festival has brought big names such as Salif Keita, Freshly Ground, Billy Ocean, Mahotella Queens, Oliver Mtukudzi, The Soil, Stimela, Zahara, and Zonke among others whilst locally Socca Moruakgomo, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Thabang Gaorogwe, Shanti Lo, Thato Jessica, Ndingo Johwa, Sereetsi and The Natives also added to the glamourous line-up.