New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Industry Loop - Ode to the 10+ year club

Industry Loop - Ode to the 10+ year club

2024-05-10  NSK

Industry Loop - Ode to the 10+ year club

With this week’s piece, I’d like to highlight and celebrate creative practitioners who have been operating at the highest level for the past 10 years. 

These are creative practitioners who have been living off their art for the past 10 years, creative practitioners who have put their kids through school and university with the few coins they made and are still making from their art. 

These are creative practitioners who never gave up, and kept pushing despite naysayers talking out of their a**! Naysayers who could be anybody from family members to friends and acquaintances. I’ve been in the industry a bit longer than that, but I too remember when 95% of the people in my life did not think I could live off art.

It’s hard, it’s depressing AF and it’s downright unpleasant. But perhaps I should define what a creative practitioner is. The term itself is a term that I affirmatively repossessed from a professional who is extremely dear to me and to the industry at large. 

Othilia ‘Tutu’ Mungoba in a radio interview with Shai_Quan and me on Fresh FM kept referring to herself as a creative practitioner. It hit me like Julius Indongo’s left hook before well…jah. Look, the point I am trying to make is that the term itself is perfect for creatives. It’s a term that should include people who practice all forms of art. Be it a musician, a DJ, a painter, a sculptor, a dancer, a choreographer, a videographer or actor…etc. 

We should all, from now on, refer to ourselves as creative practitioners. So, thank you Ousi Tutu for your continued revolutionary approach to a space that continuously gets disrespected by the same political parties that are scrambling for our votes.

One thing I always tell kids who desperately want to make it in this industry is that you need certain characteristics to survive and thrive in this creative industry. Some of the characteristics I am about to share are unfortunately foreign to this new generation of creative practitioners who are all about mental health and vibes on vibes.

Back when we started, there was zero mental health. You knew one thing and one thing HAVE TO MAKE IT. There was no time to sulk. There was no time to be in your feelings. You could NEVER afford to take your foot off the pedal. Ten years ago, the mission was way or another, they would hear about your work.

Members of the 10-year club are more than welcome to correct me where I am wrong. Starting out 10 years ago in the creative industry where you found seasoned professionals in your desired space meant that you needed to have balls the size of Michael Amushelelo. You needed to insert yourself in spaces where people could not only notice you, but  also respect you going forward. You needed to be consistent.

You needed to be excellent. Hell…you needed to be excellent 99% of the time.

Because 10 years ago, whichever space you were in had their superstars. These superstars were not just going to roll over and hand you their spaces. It’s not like today, where the emphasis is all about listening and empowering the kids. 

Ten years ago, nobody gave a rat a** about the kids. So, imagine trying to break into a space with these cut-throat dynamics.

I hope you understand now when I mentioned that the characteristics of a 10-year veteran are something today’s generation of creative practitioners will never fathom. Can you imagine doing it for that long, and still commanding relevance today?

Which is why today, I celebrate you Mr/Mrs/Miss 10 years. Today, we celebrate you Mr/Mrs/Miss 10 years. Nothing but salutations from Mr 13 years to you!

Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM

Need an MC? I’m YOUR guy. Hit me up…

2024-05-10  NSK

Share on social media