By Jeoffrey Mukubi
NAMIBIA is currently hosting the first-ever Arts Summit of Southern Africa (ASSA) at the Namibian Institute Of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) in Windhoek. The summit is expected to end on Thursday 23 August, under the theme Human Creativity is a vital Economic, Social & Cultural Resource. According NACN the gathering seeks to strengthen the creative economy, across SADC and increase awareness of the sector as a vital regional industry. At the gala dinner on Monday evening, many creatives as well as delegates told Confidente what they expect form the summit. Ann Singer said “I’m really excited to see what I can take from the summit, in terms of networking and finding new possibilities” Tapz Munya, a Zimbabwean musician based in Namibia commented “I actually think it’s a good initiative and it has been launched at the right time to take art as a transformation to our economy and help arts programs that are happening, because we all speak about it, but nothing happens,” Another musician also from Zimbabwe, Slickartie said that Southern African art is taking over and that artists in the SADC region should work together more. Founder of the popular Free Your Mind comedy show, Ndemufayo ‘Chicken’ Kaxuxuena, added his sentiments by saying that talk is cheap. “It is a good beginning, I think talk is cheap and we can have all these nice things, but if we do not recognize pioneers then we do not recognize the arts,” he said. Approximately 150 delegates from across SADC are at the summit. These delegates have been drawn from government institutions, national arts councils, cultural agencies, professional associations and practitioners. Educators from the creative industry and other sectors that have cross cutting interests that can positively impact the creative industry have also joined the summit. The chairperson of the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) Patrick Sam told Confidente that the creative industry is vital to the sustainable development of Namibia and other SADC countries. “There is a perceived lack of understanding and doubts about the opportunities and benefits of investing in this sector and the growth it can bring to the region,” Sam said. He added that the gala dinner held on Monday evening got everybody in attendance to understand why they are here, not only in terms of what the delegates are going to do at the summit but what they can do after the summit. “A lot of time people criticize the government and say that many summits are just talk shops, but the problem with the creative economy that because it has been on the peripheral for so long we are not using the right language, a lot of times we do not do a good job of capturing and documenting our success stories, that’s why it seems like there is nothing happening. The summit is going to ignite human spirit, and because we are talking about creativity being the most vital resource I think that is where we start,” concluded Sam.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015