Space For Artists to be Free


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5 November 2022, was a day filled with laughter, punching and piercing sounds submerged with melodic lyrics. The Eat and Chill hosted by Sounds in Motion event was held at Protea Glen 16, Glenridge, Soweto.

Leroy Tserema also known as San_Ngoma (31) located at Glenridge has been in the arts for over a decade as an independent artist.

“The event is about giving a space to artists to [be] able to express themselves without restrictions, a space that will accommodate the people from the community so they can be able to experience the artists. I am mindful of this because some community members hardly watch live performances because of funds to travel to elite events, with this it allows them to have an interaction with these artists and support their very own artists,” passionately explained Tserema.

“I place myself in environments that will help me grow and expand as an artist from the NGOs or movements and campaigns I do need to align with me as a person and the youth as I’m passionate about the arts and crafts and education, These are things I hold close to my heart and I participate in them wholeheartedly,” expressed Tserema.

San_Ngoma has won a few awards in his musical journey. He was named the ‘Best Upcoming Musician’ in 2019/2020.  For the artists the award was affirming of his hard work.

“The biggest struggle an artist can face is not having support that breaks one’s love for the arts. The music industry is nothing without people and the artists. We are nothing without support. I have privilege to be endlessly supported by family, friends, and community members. I urge people to please show support in whatever way they can,” said Tserema.

“The greatest advice I got as an artist was to collaborate with other people, working together is always the key – find the team – and the best people for the job, when that foundation is set, the rest shall fall into place. I would like to tell young upcoming artists to start! Start simple, build a solid team and you will get to the end goal once the foundation is probably set,” advised said Tserema.

“Art is taken for granted, we do not consume music as we should and they are constantly playing the same songs on the radio. This shows no progression in the industry. Talented artists are ignored because they do not fit in, this is sad and disheartening because they get to not be heard on local or nationwide stream because they do not have money,” explained Tserema.

The host Hlengiwe Twala (34) is self-employed, located in Glenridge, Soweto.

“The greatest freedom you can give an artist is space, that’s how this event came about. Young artists need to express themselves without judgment or limitations, this event is that space. Here is where we see creativity and togetherness and time to share artistry and ideas. A space where we as artists can show up for each other. This is a space where you get what you didn’t think you needed,” said Twala.

“This is a Home for the soul, getting people to understand that this is more than just a hobby. It’s a passion. And getting the respect and recognition we should be getting as creatives,” added Twala.

“The musician needs to be ready to put on their best show … So it’s important to make sure that creatively they are in a good space. With the community, it’s basically finding out what they love the most from our shows, whom they look forward to seeing on stage, and what else they would want to see, so we can always deliver, and add in a few surprises to come them coming back.”

“I love hosting people. I spend a lot of time on my own, so being around different people is always a blast. I get to hear different views and opinions, learn different ways of doing things. I also get to teach people a few of my ways and it’s always an amazing feeling being around that space.” Added Twala.

“It was a team effort. We are lucky in the sense that we have people who believe in the vision so therefore they’re always willing to help where help is needed. It’s always a joint effort between artists and the community” further added Twala.

This article was submitted on 02 December 2022. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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