Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Mbabane - The MTN Bushfire Arts Round Table, supported by FNB Eswatini, was a resounding success this year, energised by the exciting new 3-year partnership between MTN Bushfire and the Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC).

Each year, MTN Bushfire hosts the Arts Round Table, a series of workshops and performance showcases that take place on the Friday of the MTN Bushfire Festival weekend. It’s aimed at connecting aspiring multi-disciplinary artists with seasoned festival performers and creative industry professionals to have thematically driven discussions around the professionalisation and development of the arts. In this edition of the Arts Round Table, applications were open to creative practitioners within the Eswatini arts industry, expanding the reach of the opportunity to grow and professionalise the performing arts in Eswatini. The industry professionals included vocal artists, poets, record label executives, producers, digital media personnel, artist managers, band members and advocates of the performing arts. Only 150 participants of the over 200 applications could be admitted, to ensure an intimate, meaningful session and to give all participants the chance to engage in panel discussions.

The full-day workshop was well-attended by local artists and industry players who participated in strategically curated panel discussions aimed at elevating knowledge and growth within the industry. The key topics were around,amplifying women’s voices in the music business, building bridges between Africa and the rest of the world and  developing understanding and opportunity for independent Africa. The panel included local industry executives  such as; Melusi ‘Zox’ Dlamini, Buyi Cele, Sdoro Pinto, Symphony, Mmeli Hlanze and Nomalungelo. Alongside them were international music executives ranging from Germany, The Netherlands, and South Africa. These included Africa Rising Music Conference founder Sarah-Jane Nicholson, Paradise Worldwide Founder Ralph Boege, and Music In Africa Regional Coordinator Thabiso Mohare, who all brought their expert knowledge to the table.

Arts Round Table sponsors FNB Eswatini demonstrated their commitment to developing the creative industry in Eswatini and shared a presentation themed ‘Rethink Your Creative Talent, Bank like a #Changeable’. The focus was educating participants on how to utilise e-Commerce Pay Link for their businesses and the advantages of FNB Forex as they looked to take their craft to the international level.


The workshop achieved what it set out to do creating a platform for cultural exchange, international networking, building bridges to export our local craft and much more. Much to the delight of our local artists who have shared positive feedback, there is new hope that has been re-ignited to take their careers to new heights. Penny Bouwer who was the coordinator said, “It was exciting to see local industry players take advantage of this opportunity and be free to converse and exchange ideas with the European delegation. We are on the right track to building a sustainable future for the arts. We are already in talks to send a couple of our artists to Europe for performances,” said the MTN Bushfire Arts Round Table Coordinator. ARMC is a new, dynamic industry-focused music conference aimed at bridging African and European music industries and markets by facilitating an exchange of best practices in the industry. MTN Bushfire and ARMC look forward to more mini-sessions and sub-workshops in the build-up to a bigger workshop in 2023.

Comments (0 posted):

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image:

: Teacher vendors
Should teachers sell foodstuff to pupils?