To say it’s not easy to make a living from arts in Botswana is an understatement. Day in and day out local musicians cry about how they are taken for granted and paid peanuts. Jazz artist Kearoma Rantao has been bold enough to express how exploited they are.”15 000 charge for a live performance with an 8 piece (live) back up band vs P30 000 backtrack/lip-singing with dancers only. This industry will never grow,” she said.
Kearoma stated that it is hard to be a musician in this country, and that the only way is to quit or start lip-singing to save some money for survival. According to Kearoma for her to be on stage and give out the best ever performance takes a full 2weeks of intensive rehearsal charged daily , transport to and from home for band members (pe-diums) 8 Pax ,a snack / lunch for the band at work daily, and the performance fee at +-P1500 00 for each member talking of an 8 piece band. There are also outfits costs, stage professional makeup, soundchecks etc.
“The time some of us started we did well because fact that you are new everyone wants to book you , on condition that yeah it’s introducing you to markets , and it’s exposure for you ..That’s cool, you go for it and you get promised that next time when all is good otla duelwa sentle and that there are more events coming so you are in,” she continued. She explained that is why they loose most gigs because of lack of improvement.
Kearoma also touched on music royalties mismanagement, “Who says there is no talent in Botswana? You tel me out of 500 musicians on the ground and aspiring only 2/3/4 are the best? What happens to the rest, lose Her sentiments are inspired by an article she read on Botswana Gazette titled Top Earners in the local music industry. Kast did not definitely walk for this!