Guest blog by Imanga Kay
Creativity makes digital things interesting. It’s quite simple to think about it that way, except, the case in Zambia makes it difficult to understand. This article is not about digital migration, so take a chill pill.
I heard someone once say that digital was just 1s and 0s but creativity gave it life (paraphrased Ngosa Chungu’s words). And so we uncovered at the Digital Creative Session held at Bongohive yesterday.
Most people don’t know that BongoHive is a place to meet all sorts of people, get inspiration, know and learn things even if you’re not a member. And, the digital creative session embodied this exact scenario.
The meetup was a process of discovery and an idea to understand what it’s like to do digital visual work in Zambia. The session comprised a small group of people from various slices of the digital creative industry. Those that showed up pioneered the first forum which took the form of an unconference.
Present were: Markus Koellmann, Bishon Mumba, Kangwa Mubanga, Francis (Mfumu Intern), Kapelembe and Sandra Sikanyika, myself (Imanga) and Silumesii our gracious host atBongohive.
Memorable things said at the session…
Favourite creature? “Mosquito!” Apparently, Kangwa finds mosquitos fascinating when they make noise and you’re not paying attention but disappears when you want to kill it, ensuring a back and forth dance.
Why creativity rocks? “Even God sat back and admired his own creation, ‘it was good’.” Creativity has that effect on Markus the independent.
“It’s nice to do what you love and get paid for it,” said Kapelembe of Creata.
“Creativity every day is hard.” One needs to draw inspiration from literally everywhere… “even dreams” chimed in Kapelembe.
“People love your work until they have to pay for it,” revealed Sandra of Creata.
Some challenges facing the industry
1. Competition from beyond borders
2. Corruption within organisations i.e. expecting a cut from commissioned work
3. Lack of appreciation for local talent
4. Absence of cutting edge training facilities in-country, mostly self-taught
Some recommendations to improve the industry
1. More meetups and sessions to discuss digital creative sector issues
2. An association for graphic designers or digital creatives
3. Price regulation to allow favourable competition with the big guns
Imanga Kay Founder and Managing Editor of MANIC