"Put some ice on where it hurts!" So, I did. I put it all over my body.
Let me put that into context for you.
It was April 1st, 2020, and a flight to London was scheduled for later that afternoon. New adventures and career opportunities were waiting for me upon arrival. I was set. Backtrack to March 2020, presidents and leaders all over the world were on their national broadcasters , CNN, BBC, ALL OF THEM, saying that the world was going into lockdown. Everything is shutting down. Why ? The novel Coronavirus was on its way. Actually already here and it decided to throw everyone’s plans out of the window. Spice things up a bit.
It was a hard reset for the world. People started working from home, those who could… Curling up on their couches catching up on their favourites series and movies . Spending time at home listening to their favourite music , now that they had time to do it.
*Remember this point because it’s coming back later*
The world had to adapt and change and find new ways of doing things we were so used to doing. The “ New Normal ‘ one could say. The economy was falling apart and many people lost their livelihoods.
Creatives really got hit hard. I want to emphasise on creatives as that is exactly what I am. A Musician. It was a rough year. We had to really start thinking out the box to keep income flowing. Online shows etc.. There is only so much one can do with an online show though. Unless you are a well-established artist with all the funding and a great team to set up something spectacular , chances that you would not make enough money to cover the cost of the show itself. And me being from a big country but with no people , let alone enough people who have access to the internet was not really helping my case. Performance venues were shut down. Bars, clubs, theatres , lounges etc all closed, while we watched wave after wave of the Coronavirus doing its thing. For all intents and purposes it seemed like art was DEAD.
And I was one of the lucky ones. At least I have a family that I could fall back on for help. I was not homeless or ever went hungry. It’s sad that the same could not be said for many creatives out there. And turning to Governments for help, NOPE! Unfortunately many places to really see art as a real job. So, there were grants here and there. DEFINITLEY no way that a small artist could even turn to a bank for a loan or anything of the sort. “What will you give us as capital?”
Foundations who love and support art are trying their best but there are soooooooo many unsupported artists around the world that at the end of the day it becomes survival of the fittest or who you know. Unfortunately talent can only get you so far in the creative industry and that’s a sad fact.
However, as much as 2020 was one of the worst years in terms of making money, it really was a great year for me to work on myself. Really get down to the nitty gritties of why I’m doing what I do. I think it was a great time for all creatives to evaluate themselves and figure out ways to come out winners on the other side of this entire mess. But I digress and this is not a therapy session..
Remember when I said *remember this point because it’s coming back later*? Well it’s here and points will be made. So, while the world was crumbling at our feet and people’s lives were in a shambles? I mean, we were free for a bit now most of the northern hemisphere is back on lockdown facing another Covid-19 wave but do you remember? People, whether single or with their partners or families, were watching movies and series. There was that crazy Tiger King stint the world went through. I’m so glad that bug did not bite me but whatever… People were listening to music. Now that they had more time on their hands. Asking “Alexa” all day everyday “ play this, play that “.
Quick question… Where do you think all of these things come from? The sky?
*INSERTS CONFUSED EMOJI*
Really, where do you think all those songs that you love and kept you happy and cheerful during this pandemic come from? Or those movies into which you escaped to for a few hours every day while the world was burning, where do they come from?
CREATIVES, ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, FILM MAKERS … People who made something out of nothing for us to be able to sit there with our headphones , dancing or smiling at our T.V screens because this movie is just so WOW!
And before we forget. Creating all those pieces did not fall from the sky either. Many creatives train, practice and hone their skills for YEARS to be able to produce the works which we have so come to love. Even natural talent has to be refined, smoothen out and moulded.
I when they asked me to put ice on where it hurts , I put it everywhere. Because I’m in pain and it hurts all over. I’m in pain for myself and my fellow creatives. I’m tired of having to fight for the importance of art and the creative industry with the very same people who benefit and enjoy it. It’s tiring having to hear “ you have to get a real job or learn other trades “ from people in positions of leadership. And I’m from Namibia in Africa where we have been taught that it’s a doctor ,lawyer engineer or you are a shame to the family. I am not speaking for the entire continent but I’m sure many of you catch my drift.
Enough ranting. I guess the point that I am making is the world would be a really boring, dry , shitty place if there were no creatives and it really had to take a year like 2020 to prove my point. So, put some RESPECT ON OUR NAMES!
- Sean Kamati/ Sean K