There’s an ill-conceived notion that artists are to stay away from politics and focus on their art. I’m terming it an ill-conceived notion because that’s just me being nice. If I were to be the NSK that you know, I’d term it b******t! Arts has a long history of championing rights for the oppressed. Arts has a long history of giving a voice to the voiceless. Arts has long been a tool to fight injustices of any sort.
Why do you love Jackson Kaujeua? Was it not for his ability to use his art to fight the brutal apartheid regime? Why do we until today celebrate the life of John Muafangejo? A visionary Namibian who did not live to see the independence of his motherland but the struggle of his fellow Namibians formed the basis for his art.
Perhaps we may not have that type of modern-day artistic activisms but artists should never feel cornered into not expressing themselves politically or socially. The whole point of art is to express yourself. Artists would be failing in their need to stay relevant to the ordinary Namibian if they do not express themselves based on the current political and social mood.
If you are one of those people who bash artists for pronouncing themselves politically and socially, you need to check yourself, fam. Perhaps you need to be educated. Or maybe you’re just ignorant AF! My hate for ignorance is well documented on this platform. Luckily, you have us. You have me. You have Industry Loop and the New Era to help you.
As a matter of fact, you’d be the first one to criticise artists who stay silent on political and social matters. So I say go for it! Express yourself on matters affecting the very same people who buy your work. You have a civic duty to use your artistic voice and influence to champion for a just and equal society. The biggest modern-day artistic influences like Gazza, King Tee Dee and Samuelle have all expressed themselves politically. Kanibal, Big Ben, Sunny Boy, Sally and Oteya have all pronounced themselves socially on issues like GBV.
I challenge the rest of the industry to pronounce themselves. Lead a cause of some sorts. Champion your political stance. You cannot always expect your fans to be happy. Your fans go through life. Life is not always happy chirpy! There’s only one thing I ask of artists if they decide to heed my call…please do your research. Have your facts ready. Be politically and socially savvy before you pronounce yourself. The worst kind of artist is an ill-informed artist. So yes…Politics (social realities) + Arts = Winning formula!
Until the next loop, we say “GMTM”!
NSK is a professional MC. For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org