By Nokwanda Sibandze | 2018-12-06
THE future looks bright for the artistry industry.
It seems artists will finally get what they have been asking for, for the longest time.
The newly appointed Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga said he, after visiting most of the councils in the industry, intends to professionalise the artistry industry.
For years ar-tists in the co-untry have been compla-ining about how the industry has been making headway slowly because it is not taken serious as a profession.
Reported by this publication a number of times, artists at times are not paid enough because their work is taken as a hobby than a job, all hope is not lost as Bulunga says professionalising music and the arts is one of his main goals.
Speaking to this publication, yesterday during an exclusive interview, the minister said his visit to the councils was enlightening as he was able to get first-hand information about their programmes of action, strategic plans and challenges.
“I have appreciated the manner in which they have been able to navigate thro-ugh the challenges and kepping the fires burning. However, I should add that these meetings were simply introductory and thus we will once again meet the councils very soon for an in depth look into everything they do,” articulated the minister.
Bulunga also applauded how the industry had improved.
“The music and arts industries have vastly improved. The MTN SWAMA Awards last week Saturday night, for example, were a brilliant production done by Emaswati celebrating our own artists. It was one of the best awards I had ever seen, testament to the growth of the music and arts industries. It is now easy to mistake our artists for international acts and that shows that a lot of good work has been done,” he said.
“I see the arts as a means of expression and also a means of making a living for our artists. Therefore, we completely embrace the entire industry and artists have our full support,” he added.
It can be safely deduced that the future of the industry is bright. Bulunga also said that they need to strengthen the marketing aspect to make sure that local artists are well known within the country and outside.
Suggesting that artists should have an annual music festival where the line-up is 100 per cent local artists, the minister said it could help improve the growth rate of the industry.
“It would also help to have an annual music festival with a 100 per cent local line-up, something which will help our artists grow and become true household names in the country and beyond. As a ministry, we will continue working closely with the Arts and Culture Council to identify better approaches that will uplift the standard of music and arts in the country,” said Bulunga.
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