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"kree" + "AY" + "tiv"

Creative people ask questions, nurture ideas, open minds, develop thoughts, unsettle the status quo, motivate the mind's eye, are curious, understand the square peg and the round hole, embrace challenge, inspire confidence, shift paradigms, and observe quietly. Creative people engage, enhance, and embellish the everyday. Creative people shift every aspect of society, sometimes at full volume or in perfect silence.

I would argue that as we embrace the 4IR and a hybrid world post Covid, there has never been a better time to be a local creative and embrace the creative revolution. It is a statement that does come loaded with challenges and obstacles, but revolutions aren't created by the meek.

Creative people are producers of ideas, content, and physical goods, and if lockdown taught us anything, it's that there is an appetite to support and consume local creativity. In every aspect of our creative economy, there is movement to indicate support and belief in home grown talent.

The story of local denim and fashion creative, Tshepo Mohlala is one of creativity growing and thriving because of support from local consumers. It is in the thinking, design and stitching in each pair of jeans that resonates with those who wear Tshepo Jeans. As a country we have matured as consumers to seek creative people who understand our needs, aspirations, and cultural context. It Is more than wearing denim, it is a creative connection sparked by local talent that resonates with consumers who choose to buy and wear the jeans. Functional creativity inspired by local nuance can create a need in an existing market.

Having their feet on the ground and understanding the creative aspirations or our sneaker wearing population, both Bathu and Drip sneakers embody the creativity that lives in their individual founders and creators. Investing in the creative spaces ultimately improves the wealth of local economies as consumers shop for local products, supporting local businesses and the creative value chain that inspired them. Well timed creative ideas can have huge impact as is the case with both Bathu and Drip. The lesson here being understand the market, the consumer, and the need for the creativity.

As South Africans we have stories to tell and audiences who are keen to engage and interact with creative entrepreneurs through their content and product. One needs only to see the content being produced for Showmax and Netflix to understand the opportunities as a local creative in the television and movie space. As the film and television industry has matured alongside changing technology platforms, there is more opportunity to create than ever before. From series, documentaries, movies, and episodic releases, South African audiences are choosing to consume local content. Audiences are reacting positively to the culture, language, geography, and relatable context dominating story lines and character plots. The need for locally relevant content is being powered locally by supported creatives and it is a sector that is growing due to consistent audience support.

Mother tongue communication is an area that continues to resonate with audiences and consumers. The fact that brands recognise the need to do more for consumers in their mother tongue can only be a positive factor for local creatives. From the scripting of radio adverts to sports coverage and simple tools like menus in restaurants, it is possible to enjoy commercial success beyond English. One of the winners at the 2022 Pendoring Awards is a quirky advert for chicken giant, Nando's. The advert is testament to the unique ability for language to instantly create a connection. I believe we need to encourage creative talent to continue to create in the mother tongue. Not only does this celebrate creative diversity, it adds colour, impact, and pride to the creative economy.

Local creativity needs to be celebrated, supported, and nurtured. Music, books, food, fashion, digital, art, products and things, conversation and debate, radio and television, pictures and photography and the written word all give rise to the opportunity to be creative. How do we shape-shift the future, create new opportunities, celebrate history, empower new spaces, and grow the economy? We the creatives create!

14 Nov 2022 12:26


About Candy Dempers

Candy Dempers has loved all things media for twenty-three years. A sales and marketing specialist, her first love was radio and bringing brands and platforms together.