More arts and corporate partnerships

22 November 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Sometimes I wonder if anybody ever reads this page. Personally, when I open Namibian Sun on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays the first piece I usually finish reading in the supplements is the column. I want to be enticed by the motivation for what the columnist decided to splurge, in a bid to create some sort of emotional connection with the content and the readers.

As the year comes to an end, we cannot overlook the collaborations between corporates and creatives in the music and arts community. We are grateful for the support, however, the industry still needs more.

For years music and other forms of art have received support from fans and patrons, in order to grow and prosper. But by the virtue of our population, the cry for more support from the corporate world is not something new in Namibia's art and entertainment space, because the support from fans alone is not sufficient.

Luckily enough, today the role of the patron is being replaced by support from corporate companies, who value and recognise the influence and power that our creatives possess. We have seen corporates partnering up with Namibian creatives in recent times: Kp Illest with MultiChoice Namibia, DJ Castro with Coca-Cola Namibia, Afroprint with Oshikandela, Castle Lite with Sally Boss Madam, to mention but a few. To many in the art space, this trend is a welcome sight in an era of strained sources.

Ironically, even while businesses are viewed as a source of arts funding, these same firms are faced with budget cuts. One of the challenges that Namibian businesses face is that they are being asked to support a multitude of organisations and worthy causes, including arts and entertainment. The wound of MTC saying goodbye to the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) is still fresh, and many were let down, despite knowing how MTC is heavily involved in funding other causes, from education, sport to other social needs.

As the competition for corporate support increases, artists or creatives must be able to prove that they provide measureable benefits. Businesses are in their comfort zone when they can quantify the outcomes or benefits associated with spending or investing in a certain brand.

The problem is that many of the benefits associated with the arts are 'soft' or intangible, and thus difficult to measure. This is a major challenge for both business and the arts, as they seek to develop partnerships.

To sum up, I would just like to applaud corporates that invest in the arts community for being brave enough to support the arts. I also call on creatives who are fortunate enough to land deals with corporates to maximise their impact and also open doors for other creatives. In this edition, we highlight some of the festive season albums being released this month (pages 4 & 5). We also sat down with Nga-I to discuss his early retirement, as well as how fatherhood has changed him. Do enjoy!



[email protected]; @MichaelMKAY on Twitter

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