So I write this week from Windhoek, two hours flying time up the road from Cape Town. Two hours to a different economy and a different lifestyle, as well as a wonderful political maturity. Yes the country has problems, but the citizens have a can-do attitude and a warm welcome. I have been coming to the country for over 20 years around July and August.
The tourist economy is booming and somehow the creative economy of South Africa and Namibia seem to be in the embryonic stage of working together.
Why have the govts of SADAC regions not made it easy for artists to travel from county to country?
Work visas are a nightmare .The cost of flights is outrageous and the venues are small and intimate.
Surely the arts and culture departments of the various governments could help facilitate a specific venue in the capital of each country as a base for artists to perform.
We have Africa day, but somehow Cape Town seems to struggle to draw a capacity audience even with well-curated events by the likes of Steve Gordon.
It is even more challenging to ask for flights to Maputo from Cape Town. You have to go via Johannesburg and that will take you half a day or more – just ask Moreiria about that.
So how do we change the narrative and draw attention to these problems on a national level? And how do we discuss problems at a municipal level, seeing that local government elections are round the corner, on August 3?
Has anyone in the creative sector even looked at the national or local plans in the arts and culture departments of the various political parties, and asked questions about these policies on a local or national level; asked probing questions as to how the money is spent and who gets what?
Please: let’s see artists speak their minds and not be afraid to do so. Don’t whisper in the deep, because there are way more challenges in the creative sector that need addressing than just the 90% scenario.
Gig of the week
This is the 10th installment of the Cape Town Folk ‘n acoustic Music Festival, on Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23, at the Baxter Theatre Concert Hall. Performances will be delivered in the form of unplugged sessions stripped down to the essence of the songs – guitar or piano and voice.
The evening is set to be an experience of fine musical storytelling from the personal journeys of the likes of James Stewart, Robin Auld Lionel Bastos, Tim Parr, Tony Cox, Heather Mac, Steve Newman, Sonik Citizen and many more. In total, 26 acts will perform.
Tickets are from Computicket at R195 and shows starts at 8.15pm.