The Mpumalanga Creative Arts Summit: Positioning The Creative Industry To Be An Economic Driver

The 12th of December 2019 marked the beginning of a new dawn for the creative industry of the province of the rising sun. It could easily be said that the day was the beginning of a new era for the creative fraternity of South Africa. The Mpumalanga Creative Arts Summit, a summit concept which is designed to be a driver and provider of economic growth, social impact and the business in the creative sector. ‘Where Art Meets Africa‘ is the summit’s tagline and that alone gives you insight into the big plans that exist for this conference — a gathering which aims to be highly localised and rooted in housing delegates from different regions in Africa and the world for three days. The summit serves as a manifestation of the great vision of Stanley Khoza, respected Mpumalanga-born creative industry leader and Vice President of AIRCO SA, to build structures and platforms to boost the creative economy of the beautiful province of Mpumalanga.

“For us as AIRCO South Africa, we have taken a clear decisive decision to make sure that the Mpumalanga Creative Arts Summit focuses on semi-urban and rural areas of our people. This is where a majority of our performing artists suffer. It is our responsibility to ensure that we unlock the economic power and value so that our people can benefit from the economy” says Chairperson of the AIRCO South Africa. Rooted in the objectives of why the summit exists is driving socio-economic progression which is to better the lives of those in the creative economy and those entertained by creative practitioners (the masses). More than anything, the summit is designed to be multi-disciplinary; covering the arts in its entirety from music to fashion to film and more.

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Honourable Mandla Maseko, Chairperson of the Association of Independent Record Companies South Africa.

The summit is supported by organisations such as the Gauteng Film Commission, AIRCO SA, South African Tourism, the National Lotteries Commission and the Cultural & Creative Industries Federation of South Africa and more are to be added. These organisations are not only sponsors, but they are stakeholders that have a direct vested interest in the growth of the economy of South Africa through mediums of creativity. A ripple effect of change driven by collaboration, education and social empowerment is to be expected as the bigger vision is to have more platforms like this in all South African provinces.

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Mpumalanga Creative Arts Summit Press Conference. 12 December 2019.

“Many people don’t know that many big blockbuster films were shot in the province of Mpumalanga. Award-winning international films like Blood Diamonds were shot in the province. And most importantly, Mpumalanga is home to legendary and world-renowned artist Dr. Esther Mahlangu. This province has a lot to offer and the Mpumalanga Creative Arts Summit aims to encourage and promote the talent and treasure that exists in Mpumalanga” says Stanley Khoza.

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The beauty of the Mpumalanga province.

By structure; the Mpumalanga Creative Arts Summit is to have two days of workshopping, networking and education with the last day being a day dedicated to exploring the tourism presented by the province. Industry thought leaders, artists, business people and the masses are to gather at the Emnotweni Arena in the capital city of Mpumalanga — Mbombela. The summit is to happen every December and it promises to be a catalyst for growth in culture, the arts and business.

To get more updates on the Mpumalanga Creative Arts Summit, visit their website here. The new decade promises to bring development and change in the creative industry.

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Nkululeko Nkosi Creative entrepreneur, self-starter and writer are some of the words you can use to describe me. Inspired by the grit, rawness and passion you often find in underground and alternative culture. Based in the greatest city in Africa, Johannesburg.


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