ART in general is a source of inspiration, enjoyment and fulfilment. Art is crucial to the social and national agenda of Namibia. But after extensively reading on the outdated Final Draft Policy on Arts and Culture in of the Republic of Namibia, it has become clear that artists in Namibia will still have a hard time ahead if they are to reap rewards from their artwork. It is saddening for artists and creative people to create any form of art because of the lack of access to quality creative and cultural educational institutions in Namibia as well as working in a virtually non-existent creative economy. Cultural policies are supposed to be used to enhance urban development, to encourage civic engagement, to foster new forms of historic preservation, to define national identity and to advance economic development. The policies should also regulate international trade in cultural goods and services. The outdated National Policy on Arts clearly stated that the mission of the government in arts and culture is to promote unity in diversity and to give all Namibians a sense of identity and pride in their own creative talents. It also states that government should safeguard, extend and promote physical, linguistic and spiritual heritage, because it is the rich heritage that provides us with our unique Namibian and African identity. This is the foundation for our development. Unfortunately none of these goals are being realised probably because art and cultural leaders are not being held accountable for mistakes and mismanagement of government funds that were allocated to the directorate of arts. A majority of Namibians are hungry to consume art. This was evident when close to 20 000 people attended the 081Every1 Fest in August. Also learning or pursuing a career in arts especially in Namibia isshunned upon, because of the taboo that art can never reap fruits of its labour and should just be a hobby. The arts budget is also just a joke. Although the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture receives the biggest chunk of our national budget, arts and culture education has been put on the side-lines. Namibian politicians should understand that this area of learning makes a key contribution to children’s personal, social and emotional development and to their growth as confident individuals. It enables them to participate in and respond to the creative and cultural life of their communities. Participating in a range of art forms – including art and design, drama, music and dance, helps children become responsive, critical and appreciate life as it is. Government should start to embrace and support creative industries in their efforts to drive sustainable development and jobs creation. This is because Africa is the cradle of civilisation, it is also the birthplace of artistic exploration.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015