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MALKERNS – House on Fire successfully hosted the presentation of the Sounds Connect Fund last Thursday via a zoom meeting with Music in Africa.

The Sounds Connect Fund (SCF) is a multifaceted initiative that aims to accelerate development and increase the capacity of the cultural and creative sectors in Southern Africa. This is done by offering financial support in the form of different sized grants and comprehensive capacity-building programmes to eligible creative and cultural industry organisations based in several countries namely; Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These creative sectors should be operating within the arts, animation, film, gaming, photography, videography and visual arts sectors.


House on Fire permitted the attendance of local creatives to witness the Sounds Connect Fund presentation at the Amphitheatre. During the zoom meeting, SCF Grant Officer Katlego Taunyane revealed that they were expecting more applications from the country as this fund aims to develop creative sectors in nine African countries. “For a country like Eswatini, it would be wise for creative sectors to apply for this grant since this will help develop them locally and expose their work beyond borders. After applying for the fund, we also expect those awarded the grants to attend our capacity-building programmes as stated in the grants guidelines as a way of growing our partnership and development of the southern African countries,” shared Taunyane.

The fund presentation was attended by a few, most local creative’s used the link to attend the presentation online. The SCF is sponsored by the European Union, grants of up to 70 000 Euros are available for creatives, with the aim of accelerating development and increasing the capacity of the cultural and creative sectors in southern Africa.


However, locally very few creatives have sent applications to ask for a portion of the fund which is aimed to develop them. In applying for the grant, interested creatives can access the Music in Africa website where they can download the grant pack for full information which includes the Sounds Connect Fund grant application guide. This should be read carefully before filling in requirements to avoid errors that can lead to termination of application. To be eligible for financial support, applicants must be formally registered in the local country, for example as an NGO or NPO, association, close corporation, private company and other relevant groups in the art sector. For clarity, the basis is that the applicant must be an official/ legally registered entity in its local country.

An organisation is used as a broader term to refer to any business entity such as a company, an institution, as well as association. The list may include arts organisations, arts venues, festivals, creative hubs and incubators, media houses, mobility circuits, recording studios, theatres, arts markets, fairs and conferences, creative sector businesses.


House on Fire is one of the creative sector which has benefitted from the Sounds Connect Fund, they were granted E100 000. They have welcomed assisting local creatives to also apply for the fund. House on Fire’s Sounds Connect Fund Grant will help aid an innovative new and ground-breaking project that will support continental musical collaborations known as CollaboNation. CollaboNation will connect and unite the southern African region through a series of unique music collaborations, supporting the weaving together of Africa’s rich and diverse musical genres and inspiring a game-changing creative narrative, contributing to the development of new audiences, inspiring social cohesion and building linkages between cultural industries and networks.

Artists from Eswatini, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana are invited to apply for the opportunity to collaborate with each other to record original and inspirational songs, in line with the social and environmental values of House On Fire and the MTN Bushfire Festival. The call out for CollaboNation 2023 opened on December 8, 2022 and will close on January 23, 2023.


CollaboNation will be a content and artist-driven journey, showcasing the creative and collaborative process of the artists before and during the song’s studio recording. The journey culminates in a live performance by the artists on the internationally celebrated stages at MTN Bushfire 2023, resulting in a complete, professional, music video. Distribution will be handled in partnership with the world-wide distributor Paradise Africa. The aim is to extend the reach of southern African artists, exposing them to new audiences, media, promoters and other industry professionals, in order to access new markets and communities while developing artist brands.

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