When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13 vs 11. Someone in the industry once said l am a radical.Hard to understand and hard to embrace.
My Point ExactlyWith
All l can say is l am free and l am me.A wild horse which has failed to be tamed by certain norms and structures.Fact is l would rather be judged and hated for who l truly am than be loved for who l am not.That’s self destruction. This year’s theme for Intwasa Arts Festival was Expressions.After a week of watching and hearing other artistes express themselves on and off stage,it’s time for me to express myself about Intwasa.
What it is to me and what it means to me hence the verse l began with. I remember in 2013 when l was still eager and keen to grace the Main stage and just to be part and parcel of the event.Maybe overzealous is the word.l followed standard procedure,applied and submitted my form on time,l participated in the writing competition,music competition at Eziko,l even assisted one high school with their play and none of that yielded fruit.
Maybe ngangingene ngothando olukhulu to the extent that when l hit bumper after bumper l was so crashed and traumatised.l told myself that l will never let myself go through such an experience again.l even attacked the Festival Director Raisedon Baya publicly and set social media ablaze with my toungue lashing skills until some creatives talked to me.
l felt let down by the festival l believed in and passionately wanted to be part of.l felt like a jilted lover. When l look back,l realise how childish l was.l thought Intwasa owed me something.Now l know that Intwasa,like any other festival has a set of rules and procedures and Intwasa knows what its audience wants.There is nothing personal between a festival and an Artiste,just business and creating relations,according to me.
I am not proud to say this,since that time l have never applied for the Festival as Kadder the Kwaito Artiste.Not because l am bigger than the festival and not because l am against the festival.Sometimes l do take application forms but l do not submit.Believe me,the reason is not pride.Truth is,its fear.l have been too scared to relive that trauma again to the extent that l have shamelessly delegated myself to a reveller,patron and consumer of Art at the festival without any hidden agenda and l have never turned down the opportunity to perform there when presented to me. What triggered this article?One may ask.It’s this young artiste who reminded me of myself years back.
I was surprised to see that kulabantu abalokhe besangena ngeheart kufestival.As l listened to him rant and air his concerns,l felt pity for him and decided to tell him what l felt.l said to him ‘Man,let Intwasa be.They owe you nothing.Dust yourself up and apply for the next coming festival.As for this Edition,broaden your mind and embrace the festival.There is more to Intwasa than being on stage.
A whole ‘spring’ of opportunities waiting to be unlocked,an array of relations waiting to be forged,inspiration galore waiting to be tapped. As l chatted with this guy,I asked myself how many more artistes are in his situation right now and how many more artistes are misguidedly begrudging the festival because the people they know did not offer them a slot to perform?how many artistes are left bitter every year after disappointment?What can these artistes do to avoid the same disappointment next time?
How can they find closure? I decided to ask Nkue Nkala a few questions that were going to help artistes who passed a phase similar to mine find closure and embrace the festival.Now Khuliyo is one guy who always has an answer ready. I Asked him what criteria they use when selecting artistes who performed at the Main stage and other festival events in general and whether those people are in some kind of movement since a number of familiar faces have been performing together at events such as the Summer Carnival,Jam Sessions and the recently held Bayethe Concert.
He had this to say ‘There is a call for applications beginning of the year. Panel sits and chooses acts, looking at areas of interest, Quality and things or acts that will take the festival to the next level. The Main Stage which this year was sponsored by Ingwebu Breweries is mostly about artists that can hold crowds regardless of Genre. This year Intwasa had financial troubles. Almost all the artists that performed either performed for free or for close to nothing.
Most artists expect a rainy day from Intwasa. ‘When l said Nkue,what do you have to say about artistes who say Intwasa is not selecting them to perform .’ This was his response ‘Hehehe like you, because you are one of them i am tempted to type a e mail…. I was taken aback by his response and l told him it wasn’t about me.But then l don’t blame him.lnstead of defending or justifying myself.the answer l can give him lies in 1st Corinthians 13vs 11.In short l used to think like that back then.
To date l have benefited a lot from the festival indirectly and l have enjoyed the festivities from the High school plays.To Theatre productions Untikolotshi,The System form South Africa and The Warrior. Women Wine Words, The Spring Jazz show ,Bayethe Concert and the rib cracking comedy night that left many in stitches.
However,my most anticipated part of the festival,that is held at the City Hall Car Park was too short and was also affected by the rain and other factors beyond the festival organisers’ control.