Avoid Corona, choose local- Minister tells promoters

Sharon Mathala

The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development (MYSC) Chilliboy Rakgare is expected to meet local promoters next week to discuss the worldwide corona virus scourge.

This comes at the back of the music festivals, which are expected to be hosted in Botswana featuring international artists travelling from corona-affected countries.

Speaking to Voice entertainment this week, Rakgare said that although the ministry has not taken a final decision they are of the view that local promoters should cut down on international acts.

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“We have the necessary talent to fill up any venue so we are going to have talks with promoters to look at this very aspect. We as a Ministry are not taking any chances but this issue will have to be hotly debated at our meeting so we both from the Ministry’s end and from their end reach a consensus. We do not want it to be an instruction but of course we do have our view on what should be done,” Rakgare explained.

The minister further stated, “We have enough talent here in Botswana and therefore it would not hurt for promoters to reconsider their stance and use local artists. We need to protect the health of Batswana by any means necessary.”

Major festivals such as the Hamptons Jazz festival, are a few weeks away. Other sporting activities have been halted amid the corona virus scare. Other major festivals around the world have also either been cancelled or moved to a later date.

For her part the newly re-elected Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) President, Zenzele Hirschfeld confirmed that their association has been debating the issue.

Hirschfeld maintains that it will be a bit difficult to cancel shows as contracts have already been signed.

“As BEPA we are concerned as an industry about the Corona Virus plague, as much as it has affected the tourism and transport industry it has also negatively affected the creative industry. We are not taking this lightly and we have been engaging,” she said.

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Hirschfeld further said they would together with their members work closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to come up with ways to tackle the issue.

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