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Council to boost arts industry

21 May 2023

A body that regulates and promotes copyright and documentation as well as markets local artistes and art has been missing in the countryi.

Officially launching the National Arts Council of Botswana (NACB) and its logo on Friday at the National Museum and Art Gallery, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said the establishment of the council would boost the country’s creative industry, and that it was a testament to his government’s commitment to uplifting the sector.

He said Batswana were naturally artistic and that it was embedded in their song, dress, poetry, and artefacts, but that they had lacked a vehicle of NACB’s calibre to act as a conduit for the development of such art into commercial value.

He said creative industry legends such as the late Ratsie Setlhako had left an indelible mark through their compositions, but that lack of a national arts council to regulate and promote their works had been the missing link.

President Masisi also urged local artistes to patent and copyright their works in order for them to derive value for their sweat. 

He encouraged young people to express themselves through art and that there should be a platform for them to make money out of their expression.

President Masisi also said his government was ‘in a hurry’ to promote a knowledge-based economy, and that the NACB should assist the creative industry to document and promote their music, dance, poetry, visual arts, photography and videography as well as to market and export them.

“The NACB should become an important lever to export our art. The media should also play a proactive role in the promotion and export of our artistic sector,” said President Masisi, noting how the Jamaican and British broadcasting corporations popularised Jamaican reggae music and Bob Marley in the 1970s.

President Masisi also promised that a national theatre and district theatres would be built during NDP 12.

For his part, Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare said his ministry was committed to providing an enabling environment for the council to deliver on its mandate.

He said the arts industry had the potential to contribute to the economic diversification of the country and to enhance social cohesion as well as to unite the nation.

For his part, Brian Dithebe, NACB chairperson, said they would focus the artistic sector towards value creation as well as facilitate the unearthing, developing and marketing of national talent.

He also said they would build appropriate facilities for the arts, capacitate artistes and provide access to regional and international markets.

At the ceremony, Thuto Tapiso walked away with P100 000 for designing the NACB logo. ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Pako Lebanna

Location : GABORONE

Event : Launch

Date : 21 May 2023