Lore Watterson is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Creative Feel Magazine
With the current doom and gloom of accusations, suspensions and the Minister of Arts and Culture’s intervention being so gleefully reported in newspapers on on social media platforms, now is the time to look at the great successes achieved in the arts in South Africa over the last 20 years and, in some cases, even longer.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think that mismanagement and poor governance need to be made public and be addressed. After all, it is your and my tax money that is being misused. At the end of the line, it is our fragile arts scene that suffers.
For us at Creative Feel, it is a difficult scenario as we know many of the people who are accused at the moment quite personally, and in many cases have admired what they have achieved within their mandates. As a small publishing company, we do not have the manpower to set aside the hours it would take to follow the investigations and to report on them – and, in many cases, to also check the actual facts, Yes, at the same time we do know that scandal would sell many more copies of the magazine and increase our social media presence, that’s just human nature.
So, once again, we will leave that type of reporting to the mainstream media houses and rather stick to what Creative Feel is good at and celebrate the successes and achievements of the arts world – and there are many! Here, again, we got to know the people who are involved personally and witness first-hand their passion and dedication to their projects. We have worked with them for the last 17 years, ever since the very first issue of what was then called Classic Feel in September 2001. When we were asked to celebrate Buskaid and Rosemary Nalden’s 21-year anniversary, we decided to go all-out and set aside enough pages in the magazine to make a real impact for them. It helps, of course, to have such beautiful images, taken by Graham De Lacy.
We have followed this amazing music academy right from their first few, quite humble years and feel very proud to be part of what these amazing children have achieved together with their teachers. This is, of course, very often the key to success: Passion with a capital ‘P’, without that passion there is no success. So, stay with us to see many more amazing stories in the world of the arts, there are many special anniversaries being celebrated right now and also right through 2019.
We shall overcome the doom of gloom and, instead, spend the next few months engaging with the amazing NGOs who have built strong foundations and lasting legacies; NGOs who are sustainable, successful and who are truly South African ambassadors.