By: Nosipho Haya-Komisa
The entertainment and creative arts sector is one of the industries that have been hit hard by the pandemic in the province.
To assist artists and creatives to generate income during this Covid-19 period, about four hundred and four artists in the Buffalo City Metro area have benefited from the long-awaited equipment from the Eastern Cape Department of Sport Recreation Arts and Culture.
MEC Fezeka Nkomonye handed over the equipment to various artists and fashion designers in a ceremony held in Duncan Village yesterday.
The equipment includes cameras, laptops industrial sewing machines and sound equipment.
Speaking to the beneficiaries MEC Nkomonye told them that, with the equipment they have received they will be able to generate income through virtual platforms.
“This equipment will help the sector strive during these tough times. The sector which continues to be hard hit by the pandemic, has to now find alternative ways of selling its products including making a living through virtual platforms,” said Nkomonye.
She added that handing over the equipment might not be enough but it will yield positive results for the sector.
MEC Fezeka Nkomonye says while this is a drop in the ocean is trying to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on the sector, it is a step in the right direction in providing a conducive environment for the sector to survive COVID-19.
She further said that the department will continue with its festivals virtually and ensure that artists benefit from them.
“The province continues to support artists by training them to adapt to the new normal so that they can sell and market their craft virtually. The Department will continue to hold its festivals and make sure that even when they are held virtually, artists are part of them to enable them to perform and make a living,” said the MEC.
One of the artists who benefited from the equipment Cwenga Dyala from the Ndevana location in Berlin has applauded MEC Fezeka Nkomonye for supporting local and provincial artists.
“I have received a laptop and a camera with SD card, I would like to thank MEC Fezeka Nkomonye for giving artists tools to fish instead of giving them fish. Artist will now be able to generate income without waiting for funding or gigs,” she said.
She further said that this is going to boost the economy of the creative industry as well as the local economy.
“This guarantees a positive impact on the economy of the creative industry, we as the artist will forever be grateful for this gesture as it changes the narrative of our current situation,” said Cwenga.