On the evening of February 24, a few of Gaborone’s creatives gathered at Thapong Visual Arts Centre in what was the first meeting of this new initiative. Creative Circle ÔÇô a collaborative effort between Marang Molosiwa, Lorraine Kinnear and the IdeasExpo duo Calvin Bosilong and Tumiso Mabusela, is a platform designed to get Botswana’s artists together to share skills and nurture their talents.
During the presentation, Tumiso stated that there is a need for creatives to learn how to commercialise their creativity in a manner that is sustainable for their finances and for the continuation of their art. “Artists need innovate ways to build their brands and make their craft accessible to potential buyers,” said the young advertiser. “Our aim is to build a program in which their skills can be nurtured in order for the creative industries in Botswana to gain international accolade,” he added.
Marang Molosiwa, who co-founded the establishment, said they aspire for people in different creative spaces to be eager to build this movement with them. The gathering itself had an assortment of people from the fashion industry, visual arts, media and the music industry. “We want them to interact, share ideas, learn from each other, allow for possible collaborations and ultimately help one another grow in their respective fields of creativity,” she said.
According to Molosiwa, the organisation came about during a conversation with a fellow creative. “It began as an ordinary conversation between myself and Lorraine upon realising that there’s a need for local creatives to not only know each other, but also familiarize themselves with Botswana’s growing creative industries and the importance of commercializing our respective crafts. We then approached Calvin and Tumiso to come aboard and they were just as excited as we were to get this initiative off the ground,” said Marang, who studied performing arts in South Africa.
The collective stated various ways in which they seek to fuse creativity and its business aspects. Workshops, panel discussions, pop-up market days and collaborative projects were amongst the things that Creative Circle wants to establish for artists in various industries.
“One of the key objectives of the Creative Circle is to provide a space for artists to showcase their crafts and equip them with the skills to commercialize them. This we would like to do through events such as market days for showcases and workshops where we’ll invite heavyweights from the different creative areas as well as invite professionals from the financial sector to advice the group on how to start business and sustain themselves with their respective crafts,” said Lorraine Kinnear, a local stylist and photographer.
Some of the people that attended also gave their words on what they think of the movement and the platform it has created for various artists. “We are grateful for this because we have always wanted something through which we could get together with other likeminded people,” said one attendee who is a local blogger.
“In our times, social media has undoubtedly proved itself as an important aspect of promotion that should also be exploited. We want to use our social media presence to run profiles on the artists that join our organization so as to keep people in the know about their works and crafts,” added Lorraine.
In a bid to diversify local industries and reduce economic dependency on sectors such as mining and tourism, this collective believes if the arts are invested in both financially and through innovation, the creative industries will improve the country’s economy.
They have set up a broad set of social media contacts where people can reach them and enquire about their initiative. On Facebook, Instagram and twitter, they are called ‘Creative Circle 267′.