Cre­ative ind­aba ral­lies artistes

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela

THE pi­lot edi­tion of The African Creatives Ind­aba (TACI) at Le­hakoe Re­cre­ation Cen­tre in Maseru ended on a high note amid calls for lo­cal artistes to vig­or­ously pro­mote them­selves in or­der to full ben­e­fit from their tal­ents.

(TACI) is a brain­child of renowned ac­tor ‘Matli Mo­hapeloa, Libe “Swiss” Mo­hale (founder of Fun and Class Re­la­tions Agency), Li­palesa Kolane (as­sis­tant vice pres­i­dent for the youth cus­tomer value propo­si­tions at ABSA Bank Lim­ited), Tholoana Ncheke (Le­gal Of­fi­cer: Film and Pub­li­ca­tion Board) and hu­man rights lawyer Li­neo Tsikoane.

Save for Tsikoane, the rest are based in neigh­bour­ing South Africa.

They said they were of­ten ap­proached by learn­ers ask­ing for ca­reer guid­ance, with the ques­tions cen­tring on job op­por­tu­ni­ties and sus­tain­abil­ity in the cre­ative in­dus­try.

Recog­nis­ing the gap in in­for­ma­tion, the five de­cided to form TACI: a youth-based ini­tia­tive aimed at ed­u­cat­ing, sup­port­ing and in­form­ing Ba­sotho and other Africans about op­por­tu­ni­ties within the cre­ative space and how the world is grad­u­ally mov­ing to­wards ap­pre­ci­at­ing cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als as de­ci­sion mak­ers and in­flu­encers in cor­po­rate in­dus­tries.

In her pre­sen­ta­tion, Kolane called on the artistes to ex­ert them­selves in or­der to sell them­selves, adding they should not de­spair when they en­coun­tered re­jec­tion.

“Leav­ing high school, all I wanted was to study was ad­ver­tis­ing but then Man­power Fund re­fused to spon­sor me at the school I had been ad­mit­ted to so had to opt for mar­ket­ing,” Kolane said.

“When I was in sec­ond year I de­signed busi­ness cards which I would dis­trib­ute to dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies as I was about to com­plete my stud­ies but I only got prom­ises that they would get back to me while oth­ers said I was not good enough.

“I got a job at a small com­pany but I al­ways told my­self that I de­served bet­ter so I never stopped knock­ing on dif­fer­ent busi­nesses to sell my­self un­til ABSA ap­proached me with a job of­fer­ing.

“It takes seven sec­onds to make an im­pres­sion. Al­ways smile, shake their hands while in­tro­duc­ing your­self, speak clearly and make eye con­tact. Ar­rive ready to pitch and speak clearly with con­fi­dence. Re­vise your net­work­ing goals every morn­ing and you will not fail if you do not give up,” she said.

On the other hand, Ncheke urged lo­cal artistes to use op­por­tu­ni­ties at their dis­posal no mat­ter how small and not wait for some­one to come and show them the way.

“I wanted to ma­jor in the­atre af­ter high school but my par­ents were against the idea so I had to study law in­stead not know­ing that I would end up re­con­nect­ing with my dream ca­reer.

“Learn with every av­enue to end up reach­ing your goal and be­gin to iden­tify the tools you have and not wait for some­one such as the gov­ern­ment to present the op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

She called on the youth to con­duct re­search about their cho­sen fields and em­power them­selves by ei­ther vol­un­teer­ing or shad­ow­ing ex­perts.

“There are dif­fer­ent di­men­sions to every ca­reer so choose yours wisely and never see your­self in iso­la­tion no mat­ter how tal­ented you are. Your ca­reer can only go as far as your net­work so in­ter­act with peo­ple out­side your field.

“We un­der­stand that there is a chal­lenge of in­fra­struc­ture in Le­sotho so use dif­fer­ent in­ter­net medi­ums such as Youtube and Face­book to ex­pose your tal­ents. You do not need a fancy stu­dio to tell your story as you can still record us­ing your smart phones,” she said.

Mo­hale also urged them to un­der­stand their strengths and net­work with peo­ple who could help them over­come their weak­nesses.

“My first job paid M1500 so I had to prove I was worth more than that. My goal was to have my own com­pany so I would al­ways use the hash­tag Fun and Class in every so­cial me­dia post I made to get peo­ple used to the name.

“My break­through was when I at­tended a cer­tain event in Dur­ban. It was time for the event to re­sume and the MC was away so I jumped onto the mi­cro­phone and in­tro­duced my­self as Libe Mo­hale from Fun and Class and then took the op­por­tu­nity to elab­o­rate and what I can of­fer.

“Fun and Class has now worked with es­tab­lished brands such as Mini Cooper, Cell C, Voda­fone, Mnet, Sky Vodka, BMW, Fiat and Cas­tle Lite among oth­ers.

“I drew a line be­tween what I can and can­not do and I would en­gage my friends to as­sist with my weak­nesses so that what­ever I did did not fail. Pay more at­ten­tion to your strengths.

“Al­ways con­sider your­self as a brand and do not build re­la­tion­ships that don’t yield rev­enue. It is your re­spon­si­bil­ity to sell your brand to see its longevity so look for op­por­tu­ni­ties every day. Money is in the brand and the brand is you so al­ways seek to im­press no mat­ter where you are,” he said.

He also ad­vised artistes to al­ways seek in­for­ma­tion, so­cialise, be in­no­va­tive, never to com­pro­mise their work, be re­li­able and al­ways fol­low up no mat­ter how stupid that may make them look.

For her part, Tsikoane said it was im­por­tant for the artistes to sup­port each other to pro­mote the growth of the arts sec­tor.

Mo­hapeloa told the artistes to seek their help and ad­vice to achieve suc­cess.

He said while they could not di­rectly help the artistes, they could still link them with peo­ple who could as­sist them.

FROM left: Hu­man rights lawyer Li­neo Tsikoane, Libe “Swiss” Mo­hale, ac­tor Matli Mo­hapeloa and Tholoana Kolane

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