Art economics

The creative economy in SA is worth 90Bn and contributes 3% to our GDP. The arts are and have always been the no1 contributor of wealth in developed countries such as the US.

The question is how does South Africa build an unshakable creative economy? An economy that stimulates growth through job creation, alleviates poverty and promotes skills.

The creative economy, particularly visual art has proved to be a self-sustaining economy. Through the works of their hands, artists are able to make a living through their art without many of the much needed support of funds or adequate resources to produce their work. Yet they are able to sustain themselves and their families from what they make.

Art has always been elitist, with just a select few who have an understanding and appreciation for it. The scales have shifted and we see a growing but still small number of the wealthy black people who are slowly appreciating the increasing value of art. So we can conclude that it is not about the money but art education and exposure that develops an appreciation and an understanding of the form.

How does the United States and the United Kingdom manage art? And how can we learn from them?

The creative industry is and can be a major contributor to economic development through tourism, public art in parks, train stations, where history and heritage is preserved through art.

How we can adopt these methods to change our cities, create value in art through support structures such as studio spaces in town, public art to transform spaces and export opportunities for more artists.

  • The role of government is to put a spotlight on visual arts – promoting, supporting and involving the public in the discourse of art as a key contributor to national development.
  • Building a strong creative economy will help boost tourism, increase exports.
  • Start documenting South African art and include art in in all schools curricula as a key subject.
  • Art should be taught at all schools and not only limited to upper quintile schools to give all children an equal advantage to learn and develop their artistic skills early in life.
  • Art hubs in towns and local communities for artists to collaborate and create a creative workforce in their communities creating a vibrant business environment.

Art is past and present. Art is economic. Art is entertaining. Art is healing. Art is changing. Art is political. Art is thought provoking. Art is life and should be at the forefront of any conscious nation.

According to Ann Markusen, Markusen Economic Research Services and Anne Gadwa, Metris Arts Consulting “In creative placemaking, partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighbourhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”  


Are you in the art industry? Share your thoughts.



Simply condemning violence is not enough.

Because she is

Artist: TK Year: 2014

Form a young age, it is evident that boys and girls are raised differently. And yes we are a different. But what about the way we are socialized?

According to the South African Medical Research Council a woman is killed every eight hours making the femicide rate five times higher than the global average. In South Africa, more than 1 000 women are killed by an intimate partner each year. Intimate partner femicide is the leading cause of the murder of women.

Violence against women has been on the rise and the perpetrators are getting younger and younger. We have to ask ourselves what is wrong with society, what is wrong with men, what is wrong our police or justice system? We need to dig deeper, constantly challenge conversations about the way we treat women every day, not only raise our flags and voices when it’s 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children where campaign and tweet about gender based violence. More has to be done because women encounter violence everyday.

Speeches that simply condemn acts of violence are not enough.

The idea that a women is a prized possession, often gives the impression that you are someone’s property to do with as the please. If that’s the case, wouldn’t you handle your most precious possession  with the utmost respect and care? The problem is there is no respect for women. Why is that? Why is there so much brutality towards women?

  • Women are not property.
  • Women want the freedom to move without fear.
  • Women want respect, love and care.
  • Women want to be heard.

It is time for both men and boys to be more empathetic and involved in speaking out against women abuse calling out those who say things that may manifest physically even though it’s said jokingly. If men took a stand against violence because not all men are trash, but what are you doing that sets you apart?
I’ll be posting more in this issue since I can’t cover everything in one post. Please share your thoughts on how we can change the horrific acts of violence against women and children.

I would love to hear from the men out there, how are making a difference?

Take care


Fees. Must. Fall.

South Africa is undergoing nation-wide wave and revolt about university fees. A national narrative that university #FeesMustFall, students from all walks of life have raised their voices and uniting for their right to affordable education. The entire country is in a #NationalShutDown as students demand a 0% increase in fees.

Parents are plagued by exorbitant fees which they can barely afford. Students on the other hand are in the thick of the struggle as they go through day-to-day hardships of student life, which includes books, food, accommodation and black tax which hangs over their shoulders like a cloud.

The country has seen an increase in students protests this year, it all began with #RhodesMustFall which spread across the country as students demanded that statues of colonial leaders be removed from campuses and other public spaces across the country. Looking back, the 1976 student uprising where students fought for their right to fair education; refusing Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, which they saw as the oppressor’s language hindering their performance. I see the #FeesMustFall protests as a mirror to what happened in 1976. Yes, there were no killings yesterday as students gathered outside parliament but the narrative of freedom and fair, inclusive education is becoming a cry of young people in our country.

As a result of the apartheid regime, we (young blacks) are evidence of the segregation and deprivation that the regime stood for. Every black family that is struggling to make ends meet, as well as provide a good education for their children is evidence of the economic exclusion our parents and older generations experienced.

If education is what will drive our economy to greater heights, why then is it so difficult to afford a good education? I for one know exactly what these students are going through; as some, if not most universities omit your results until outstanding fees are settled for the next year. Every registration period was the same; my family would struggle to get money for me to register and every National Student funding I applied for was sadly declined.

I’ve had my fair share of struggles with tertiary education fees. The university would not allow students who owe fees to graduate. Exclusion from graduation and omitting results means that I could not substantiate my job applications with a solid academic record to prove that I have indeed completed my studies. My efforts to find a job simply fell through the cracks. I knew that I had to pay my fees in order for me to get my certificate, I did so diligently with my internship stipend but I only managed take down the mountain of fees after two years!

I applaud and fully support the students on the movement as it affects each and every one of us, not only are they fighting for themselves but for generations to come. As former students and parents we should join in the movement and stand for education that is inclusive and affordable for all. Yes. Fees. Must. Fall.

Nomfundo Peach

‘Because You Are A Woman’ is not a good enough reason.

Feminism is not about hating men, it is about equality for both men and women. Feminism is most certainly NOT about destroying African culture, this ideology obviously come from ones’ idea of  what African culture means. I would like to believe that African culture should have evolved enough to put women at the top, since women are educated and independent.

My conversations about what women can and can’t do always turn into a heated debate because I strongly disagree with stereotypes, generalisations and single mindedness  about  women. I strongly believe men need to be taught and socialised about gender issues & equality from an early age; to stop assuming certain responsibilities are only suitable for women.

Fairness; equality and a society where people can be judged based on merit, not their gender.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, who is a firm believer and advocate of women’s rights gave a moving and thought-provoking speech to the class of 2015 at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Read her speech here. 

Have you ever been marginalised or found yourself in a compromising situation because of your gender?  How do you think gender issues can be addressed? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Take care, 


Through rose-colored glasses.

A Curro school in Pretoria has been put under the spotlight after parents complained of racism.  The allegations surfaced when parents complained about racial segregation. The matter obviously didn’t sit well with the affected parents who laid the complaint & has led Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lefusi to visit the school and make an inquiry which plans to enforce strict rules and regulations on independent schools. In responses to the enquiry from CEO of Curro Holdings, Chris van der Merwe who is not fazed by government intervention since private schools are protected by section 29 of the Constitution and that demand for private education over public schools remains strong.

Frans Cronje, CEO of institute of Race Relations condemned the way the school conducted itself and further pointed a positive side to the story stating that that there are now more private schools with a high intake of black children in early grades due to a growing middle black class.

Now, let’s talk about this – candidly; I don’t have any children but I am black, I have brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews and the list goes on. The state of our public schools has deteriorated and is at it’s lowest, it’s no surprise parents are not willing to put their children in public schools. Unfortunately, some parents cannot afford private education. Now, another reason black parents send their children to English schools is so their kids can have all the opportunities life has to offer and I know that going to a multiracial school affords a child so much more. You are in an mixed environment, this exposes one to different cultures and desensitises children from so called “racial divide”.  That’s what parents ultimately want; children who don’t see colour even though they themselves do.

I agree with Frans Cronje, yes we do have a growing middle class – no doubt. Should we then applaud private schools that their black numbers are high? It looks good on paper but I wonder, what is really happening in these schools? When it comes to racial issues, South Africa is walking on thin ice. The government wants to put regulations in place, to make sure that children are indeed intergrated in these schools. Yes, please do. Afterwards, tackle the shocking public school education so that children don’t have to suffer because their parents can’t afford to take them to “good” schools. Put the very strict regulations and follow the private school business model to make public schools competitive amongst other schools because I don’t for an second believe that our children are incapable, but if they are not challenged to their full potential then yes, they will continue to fail miserably due to the low standards that are set.

Something to think about:

Is it always black and white? Curro is a white owned company and they can do what they want really… right? Shouldn’t this be a lightbulb moment to black people – the growing middle class that everyone is raving about? Is it only because we are the big spenders? We bring in the money we grow other people’s businesses. Think about it. How do we invest in our own people and put public school at the helm of our education system; make them good enough for all. Transfer skills, start a private school entity. Reinvest in our own.

Now where do we start?

Source: Asha Speckman article in the Sunday Times (08/02/2015)

Your life’s resolutions

  • Put your dreams and aspirations out into the universe. (Write them down)
  • Be active in your faith. (Work)
  • By chance or by devine intervention, watch things move in your favour. (Yes even those things you don’t want – are in your favour, it’s all part of the journey assigned to you.)

Take care

Nomfundo Peach