Female artists urged to enhance careers

WINNERS Circle founder Samkeliso Tshuma has challenged women in the arts industry to take advantage of opportunities presented to them to showcase their skills and talents as a way of enhancing their careers.

BY SHARON SIBINDI

Speaking at an indaba for women in the arts industry organised by Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo early this week, Tshuma said women should take the lead in the promotion of their activities and products.

“Don’t always wait for people to create space and platforms for you. You are your own saviour and if you see organisations that have spaces that you can use, take advantage of those. For example, if one is given an opportunity at Intwasa, see it as an opportunity for you to brand yourself and be known,” she said.

She said it was important for female creatives to have a clear understanding of their identity and value proposition.

“Most people get into the arts industry because someone else is doing it, and they then get caught up with the fame and chase the dream which was never theirs. They then get stranded afterwards,” she said.

Tshuma said the arts industry was fraught with challenges like any other industry, so there was need for perseverance.

“There’s no industry that doesn’t have challenges and when there’s a challenge, don’t give up. You have to know how to deal with the challenge,” she said.

“Every challenge is there to make you grow, so take it as an opportunity for you to grow. The challenges out there are there to teach you something about yourself, mostly.”

Tshuma said artists should look beyond the areas that they operate from in order to grow markets for their products.

Meanwhile, festival administrator Runyararo Mutandi said they were now focusing on women empowerment and skills re-tooling.

“The meetings (we hold with artists) are also in line with one of our project objectives, which is the amplification of women’s voices,” she said.
Mutandi said their expectation was that the sessions would motivate women and ultimately enable them to create opportunities for themselves.

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