A new dawn

Leungo Mokgwathi
HAPPY: Thuto Tapiso receiving cheuqe from Minister Rakgare

National arts council launched

May, 27, 2023 marked a momentous occasion for local creatives as the National Arts Council of Botswana (NACB), an entity entrusted with the transformation of Botswana’s creative industry, was officially launched.

The stunning event, which was graced by President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, Minister of Youth, Gender Sport and Culture Tumiso Rakgare and other senior government officials was held at the National Museum in Gaborone.

The budding institution is established by an Act of Parliament, the National Arts Council of Botswana Act No 10 of 2020; mandated to transform the local creative and cultural sector by nurturing creative excellence and preserving the country’s rich cultural traditions with the ultimate goal of building an inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous sector with equal opportunities for all.

Spearheading the movement is Shombi Ellis, the first ever NACB Chief Executive Officer. She holds an impressive portfolio, which includes experience in the arts and culture sector in addition to leadership, governance, fundraising programme management, resources mobilization and capacity building expertise.

“Let it be known that NACB is now fully functional, with its board and executive ready to serve Botswana’s creative industry. This entity was born from a cry to see the transformation of our local creative industry and our task is to do just that: to inspire and develop local creatives,” Ellis addressed.

Outlining the Council’s mandate, the Board Chairperson, Brian Dithebe said, “NACB is responsible for unlocking value creation for the creative industry, coordinating and regulating the arts and culture sector, encouraging commercialization of arts and culture, and driving aspirations for prosperity for all.”

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Officially launching the Council and revealing its brand identity, President Masisi expressed delight over the NACB launch, which according to him is testament of his government’s commitment to promoting Botswana’s creative industry.

A new dawn

“Thank God for the National Arts Council, because finally, our artists can productively express themselves.”

“The Council is here to guide and support you, use them and rely on them, and let’s work collectively to grow and bring vibrance to our country through the arts,” said Masisi

Masisi further in its continued efforts to empower local artists, the government is prepared to build National and District theatres during NDP 12 to facilitate industry growth.

In his remarks, the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare underlined the importance of NACB in promoting and preserving the arts. “The strategic goal is to provide targeted and well-informed projects and programmes that will support the development of the arts and culture, ”said Rakgare.

Out of 230 entrants, Thuto Tapiso emerged as the winner of the NACB logo competition, which has been running since 2021, walking away with P100 000 as prize money.

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