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Indigenous Fine Arts An Untapped Treasure

GABORONE –  BIHL Group Chief Financial Officer Kudakwashe Mukushi says that Botswana indigenous artworks continue to attract demand from overseas investors and therefore hold considerable potential for diversifying the local economy. 

In this vein, Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Honourable Mzwinila, and executives of BIHL Trust hosted avid art collectors and captains from Botswana’s industries at an exhibition at the National Museum in Gaborone on 7th September 2017.  

Mukushi, said “We are passionate about our partnership with the Ministry and Batswana craftsmen because this sector holds immense potential for generating substantial country revenues, creating sustainable employment and enhancing local industries including that of manufacturing and tourism. People travel the world to collect art pieces in prestigious galleries and heritage sites.”

He said, “This in turn attracts business to vendors, transport, communications, hospitality and more industries and Botswana has the talent and dynamism to attract this kind of creative investment into our economy. The economic viability is evident and we stand to benefit greatly as a nation if we channel greater investment into our indigenous artistry.”

A bevy of amongst Botswana’s finest traditional and contemporary artworks including beadworks, crafts and paintings were on display for sale on the night. The National Museum’s partnership with Botswana artisans has empowered these business people with opportunities to share their talent and trade with local and international audiences. 

The Night at the Museum exhibition is an annual engagement that forms part of BIHL Trust’s proud sponsorship of the annual President’s Day celebrations. This year’s exhibition marks BIHL Trust’s 2nd consecutive year of participation in the MYSC-championed campaign.

BIHL Trust remains committed to supporting Botswana’s creative arts. In 2015, for example, the Trust collaborated with local craftsmen to establish the #RhinosInTheCity nationwide rhino conservation campaign and Thapong Visual Arts Centre to erect the BIHL Roving Gallery. In 2016, in addition to sponsoring the President’s Day awards and hosting the Night at the Museum, the Trust sponsored the Heritage Trail along Gaborone’s Independence Avenue, illustrating key milestones achieved in Botswana’s 50 years as a Republic using photographs from the national archives. 

“Ultimately our support intends to drive greater exploration of opportunities for local businesses to grow the manufacturing and marketing of our indigenous assets. The fine arts and wider creative industries also provides opportunities to preserve our dynamic heritage and to share it with the world,” said Mukhashi.

 

He said, “We have a responsibility as a nation to work together to preserve our stories for coming generations to appreciate, to build on and to derive socioeconomic development from. We commend Assistant Minister Mzwinila and his ministry for the progress made in building this sector. We also look forward to many more years of working closely with our stakeholders to see the Botswana arts and crafts market thrive.

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