- Regional winners picked for the President’s day nationals
- Entries lacked creativity and there was plagiarism-Judge
Keynote speaker at the 8th annual President’s Day Regional Visual Art Competitions and Kgosikgolo of Balete, Mosadi Seboko says there is potential to use Botswana’s creativity for socio-economic and cultural development.
Kgosi Seboko said this at the art exhibition’s official launch at Thapong Visual Arts Centre where Gaborone and South East region winners were selected for President’s Day National Final Competitions slated for July, 2016. The President’s Day competition will be held under the theme ‘Artistic Excellence towards 2016’ (Go sega Tema ya Bokgeleke jwa bodiragatsi botaki le ngwao go ya ngwageng wa 2016) .
“The reason I am bringing this, is to urge Batswana artists to begin to see their talent as potential for them to establish businesses, create employment, alleviate poverty, contribute to diversifying our economy and contribute to the country’s development goals,” she said, urging artists to take advantage of platforms such as the President’s Day Competitions to explore the horizons.
If artists are looking to derive sustainable economic gains from their artistic abilities, she said they must continue sharpening their skills in their vocation in order to produce quality works. “While it may be difficult to attach a price tag to a skill or talent, it is equally important for artists to produce quality artworks so that consumers may receive value for their money,” Seboko said.
She said the Government of Botswana had since recognized the importance of creativity to the socio-economic and cultural development of the country as a number of initiatives have been put in place and that resources had been set aside to promote artistic creativity. “The annual President’s Day Competitions in Visual Arts is one of those. I urge artists here present to make use of these programmes to grow your creative abilities and improve your skills through cultural exchanges.”
Tom Ketlogetswe, one of the judges who presided over the entries, indicated that there was a considerable number of entries and when judging, they were looking at the originality, concept, craftsmanship and overall look of the artworks. “What we were seeing were things we always see and this worried us. There was lack of creativity and there was plagiarism,” he said. He however appreciated the work of artists who showed hard work in their artworks.
Kgosi Seboko congratulated the winners and encouraged them to take their creativity beyond the Presidents day competitions: “What a pleasure will it be to see business established, employment created and foreign markets accessed by some of the artists here present tonight.” She told them that they were now originators of works protected by the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act [Cap 68:02] of 2006.