The “Talk of the Nation”, a commentary programme that airs on the country’s national broadcaster had an interesting topic this Monday.
The panel spearheaded by Hilda Basson Namundjebo interrogated what role arts could or is already playing in contributing to the economy. Firstly, let me thank the producers of the show for bringing the subject of arts to mainstream media. Thank you. It was unfortunate that one could not call in because of the pending address by Education Minister Katrina Hanse Himarwa. In any case, as an arts activist, I still thank them.
The problem in Namibia is that our parents do not believe that arts can be a viable career. Try telling your Kuku or Tate in the village that you want to go study Arts at Unam and see the response you will get. Try telling your Damara topie in Usakos that you want to pursue arts…lol, jy sal hoor omes. Try convincing your Tswana mother in Aminuis that you kama want to do arts…jah neh.
Our parents are cut from the same cloth as our politicians. They are our leaders. They only appreciate and respect the professions of nursing, teaching and accountanting. The rest, ahawe! Even our Founding Father can be quoted on so many occasions pushing for science! No other stories! That is why the Harambee Prosperity Plan does not explicitly pronounce itself on arts. When you quiz the champions of this plan on the omission of arts, you are told government has equally other pressing priorities.
So all these craftsmen, musicians, dancers, painters, sculptures, speed drawers, songwriters, producers, TV presenters, radio presenters, djs, models, pageant queens, fashion designers, film makers, actors, and theatre champions do not have families to feed neh?
All of them are not feeding families of the people they employ neh? And do not have the potential to help your Harambee Prosperity Plan take people off the streets neh? They cannot reduce poverty mos?
It is because of the blatant shun from our parents-politicians-leaders that we continue to struggle to cement value for our own. Like one panelist said on the show, these same group of people…parents-politicians-leaders would rather fly in Beyonce than have Jaliza do the job. And if Jaliza does the job, her quote gets negotiated to close to peanuts because well…its local mos. And it has no value mos sobiso. That story of competing priorities is somer nonsense.
Arts has the ability to create thousands of jobs. The beauty about arts is, people get to commercialise a passion. Now how many jobs can you say does that? Especially civil servants who serve the general public as if they are on menopause 24/7 36 bloody 5!
Let us respect arts. Arts is a genuine trade that can improve the lives of many. Thank you Hilde and the rest of your team for sparking some debate.
Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM
Song of the week: Adora: Chocolate
Flop of the week: Alvin: Akuna
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