From the Editor’s desk with Tiri Masawi
Times are hard and the tide is not about to turn soon if you are an artist.
By artist, I mean anyone in the creative industry whose work is worth following. This includes visual artists, musicians, actors, comedians and others.
It is time that the recent economic tsunami unleashed on creatives’ pockets by COVID-19 serves as a wakeup call for anyone in the arts industry.
It’s time to make hay while the sun still shines.
You were clearly told that you are part of the neglected child in the big house, but you still sitting down, waiting on Mandela’s entitlement.
If you are a musician, good luck waiting for Nascam’s cheque because it surely is going to stress you more than it helps you.
Imagine getting the call and you are only paid N$4, which is not even worth printing on the long phased out cheque.
God knows when you will get that. This is the time to sink or swim dear artist, use your creativity to make money. No matter how small the funds you make from performing online are, its better than nothing.
We are very encouraged to see Namibian creatives catching on the wave and performing online, but at the same time, we are very worried that there is a notion of many of our young artist performing for the gallery.
Performing online for free, just to be seen that you are performing is not a win. STOP IT! Again I say, STOP IT AND PUT A VALUE ON YOURSELF!
Dear creative, you should not leave your mother’s house to go perform for live on Instagram just to prove to the audience that you are still alive amid COVID-19. Monetise your performance online.
Before leaving your house for these online platform performances, put a charge on it.
Ask corporates to advertise on your performance session, so you make something out of it.
Even if you dance, sing, joke and entertain the whole Namibia online as if your life depends on it, it is entirely a waste of your God-given talent if that performance does not put bread on your table.
Put a value on yourself and don’t be painting the whole town red with online performances and you still leave to go home without tax money. God already gave you the talent so you can live off it. What more do you want?
If you are waiting for the government grant in these times, you are a disgrace to the creative industry. Because you will wait till the cows come home. Mind you they don’t come home that easy.
Simply charge what you need to charge for those performances.
We have seen sublime performances of late from Big Ben, Suzzy Eises, Top Cheri, Gazza, King Tee Dee, Manxebe and so many other artists online.
We are also happy to see those artists who are setting up websites to sell their music and talent online. Keep it up.
This is definitely a good start but let this start COME with money.
In South Africa, artists are making a killing from these online performances. This is also happening in the USA and even struggling in Zimbabwe. Surely in Namibia with the creativity we have, nothing should stop us from doing the same.
This also serves as a clarion call to the Namibian corporate sector to prove that they are indeed all-weather friends of the arts industry.
This is the time to support these artists with adverts on these performances, this is the time to stand with them and show them that they are the unsung heroes and heroines who are doing it under tough circumstances.
Support them now and dispel the notion that you don’t care about the arts industry. Figures merely show that the creative industry employs many youth, so we challenge you to prove your support to the artist.
Last but not least, we challenge the Minister responsible for the arts industry to walk the talk and support the industry with all they have. Talk is cheap at such times.