Independent Online

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Local creatives set to continue using their craft to impact change

South Africa - Cape Town - 02-November 2019 Wandile Mbambeni perfoming at the Silo concert. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

South Africa - Cape Town - 02-November 2019 Wandile Mbambeni perfoming at the Silo concert. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jun 16, 2022

Share

The Creative Africa Johannesburg, a partnership between the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Alliance Française and the Bioscope, recently hosted the screening of “A Day in the Life of Johannesburg”.

It is here that I met four incredible creative entrepreneurs, who are also young change-makers: Wandile Mbambeni, Russell Grant, Danielle Smith, and Tshepo ‘Chepo’ Mokonyane.

Story continues below Advertisement

The concept involved a showcase of five creative entrepreneurs in Johannesburg who use their city as their inspiration and their muse for their work and their businesses.

As part of the Youth Day celebrations, we asked each of the creative entrepreneurs about the significance of the day and how they use their creativity and craft to inspire the youth of South Africa and beyond.

Wandile Mbambeni - Singer-songwriter, producer, guitarist and budding cinematographer

46 years after the Soweto Uprising in 1976, the country will be commemorating Youth Day, why do think this is significant?

It’s significant for me because I’m part of the Youth today who have a chance because of the Youth in 1976. It is also a reminder to all of us to keep fighting the good fight.

What does Youth Day mean to you as an individual and as a creative?

Story continues below Advertisement

As a creative, it means I need to tell that story. I need to tell our story, I need to document the times.

What do you think are some of the challenges facing the youth today?

I think quality education is still the greatest issue, the youth don’t have jobs, and we have huge unemployment among our youth.

Story continues below Advertisement

How are you using your art/talent to help the youth overcome some of these challenges?

I believe the true job of an artist is to document the times as Nina Simone once said. I am doing exactly that, documenting through my art.

Your message to the youth?

Story continues below Advertisement

It will all work out, change is near.

Tshepo ‘Chepo’ Mokonyane - Illustrator, and fine artist

What does Youth Day mean to you as an individual and as a creative?

Honestly, acknowledge the people who fought for my freedom as a black South African. Also, appreciate some of the privileges I get to enjoy today that I probably wouldn't if I was alive during the struggle.

What do you think are some of the challenges facing the youth today?

Opportunities to better themselves, trust me the talent is there. A huge decline in mental health, and as shocking as this may sound, digital inequality.

How are you using your art/talent to help the youth overcome some of these challenges?

Mostly talking about the uncomfortable things such as mental health and promoting its importance, inspiring and encouraging other people through my journey and stories.

Your message to the youth?

Be bold about who you are, what you want, and what you stand for!

Russell Grant - Owner of The Bioscope Independent Cinema

What does Youth Day mean to you as an individual and as a creative?

As the owner of a space that can programme cultural events, I have always tried to programme the right films that can help accentuate the significance of the day.

What do you think are some of the challenges facing the youth today?

For many schools in the country, some of the most basic services are not there. If schools can be safe, if teachers are being looked after, we stand a chance of raising a youth that can lead our country in the right place.

How are you using your art/talent to help the youth overcome some of these challenges?

Early childhood development is so key. We as The Bioscope have tried whatever possible to help with charity events and fundraisers in this sector.

Your message to the Youth?

As I get older, I realise how many opportunities can be made to slowly change the world into what you want it to be. Sure, it's going to be more difficult for some, but the chances can be unlocked. And it's more possible than you might think, with just small steps and momentum.

Danielle Smith - Photographer and Designer

46 years after the 1976 Soweto Uprising, the country will be commemorating Youth Day, why do you think this is significant?

I think it is significant that the youth, the younger generation that stood up to fight for equality, justice, and freedom.

It was a collective movement for equal education and growth for society, showing us that the youth took charge and fought for change that has significantly added to the growth of our country which should be considered through older generations during the passing of knowledge.

The youth are the shape-makers of society and that is remarkable.

What does Youth Day mean to you as an individual and a creative?

It makes me proud to know that there is so much determination for change and growth within the youth of our multicultural country. This creates so much opportunity for collaboration and it inspires me to co-create within this landscape.

What do you think are some of the challenges facing the youth today?

The fact that equal education is still not completely accessible for everyone and that after 46 years we are still collectively facing the challenge of implementing the correct systems that will help us rectify this.

How are you using your art/talent to help the youth overcome some of these challenges?

By educating, collaborating, and enticing through my creative practices.

Your message to the youth?

That ambition is not something that can be taken away from anyone and that if the fire is there, let it burn and let it guide you to inspire others.

Share