Often relegated to the slums of artistry, fine arts are hardly appreciated and often misunderstood as the ugly step sister of the more popular performing arts. The ugly duckling may soon blossom into a beautiful swan.
Assistant Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Kefentse Mzwinila explained that through arts and crafts artists are able to convey a vast array of heritage.
Mzwinila was speaking at the at the Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Corporate Networking Event held on Thursday at the National Museum. The purpose of this event was to launch the 2017 President’s Day Competitions (PDC) National Art, Basket and Craft Exhibition. This exhibition is part of the annual President’s Day Competitionsgiving artists a platform to showcase their skill, talent, competitiveness and craftsmanship.
The art gallery, which is housed at the national museum was adorned with artworks by Batswana artists and had a price tag for the local art connoisseurs to indulge and purchase.
BIHL Group Chief Financial Officer Kudakwashe Mukushi said that Botswana indigenous artworks continue to attract demand from overseas investors and therefore hold considerable potential for diversifying the local economy.
Mukushi further stated that, “We are passionate about our partnership with the Ministry and Batswana craftsmen because this sector holds immense potential for generating substantial country revenues, creating sustainable employment and enhancing local industries including that of manufacturing and tourism. People travel the world to collect art pieces in prestigious galleries and heritage sites. This in turn attracts business to vendors, transport, communications, hospitality and more industries and Botswana has the talent and dynamism to attract this kind of creative investment into our economy. The economic viability is evident and we stand to benefit greatly as a nation if we channel greater investment into our indigenous artistry.”
In conclusion, Mukushi said, “Ultimately our support intends to drive greater exploration of opportunities for local businesses to grow the manufacturing and marketing of our indigenous assets. The fine arts and wider creative industries also provide opportunities to preserve our dynamic heritage and to share it with the world. We have a responsibility as a nation to work together to preserve our stories for coming generations to appreciate, to build on and to derive socioeconomic development from. We commend Honourable Assistant Minister Mzwinila and his ministry for the progress made in building this sector. We also look forward to many more years of working closely with our stakeholders to see the Botswana arts and crafts market thrive.”