A society that fails to provide a level playing field for the arts and the artists will eventually lose its vitality in inspiring beauty and grace within its people, which are foundational devices in the promulgation of civilasation as an ideal.
Promotion of creativity should not be seen as a minor cog in the wheel of national development. The development of science and technology has, among its major inputs, the countless creative souls who thought creatively and invented ways as to how to arrive at scientific and empirical, standpoints. This, needless to say, is what shaped and brought about the revolution of science and the benefits therein. So the importance of nurturing talent and creative pursuit is an integral part of the positive story of modernity.
Unfortunately when we look around our societies we find that many young people whose talents should have been nurtured and given the proper means and guidance to develop have never been given the support, hence they couldn’t have the chance to grow and provide that creative bedrock that would otherwise have helped in the flourishing of arts in our country and part of the world. Talented people are left at the mercy of their own means and many who are stuck in poverty eventually give up their creative pursuits altogether.
We have writers, painters and other very talented young people who could have made it to the top of the ladder when given the necessary support by way of financing the proper avenues to perfect their crafts. Many potential authors give up simply because they have no publishers or they cannot pay for the cost of printing and publishing.
We have far too few major publishing houses which cannot really cater for the many potential writers who want to embark on a writing career. And as for the painters, the only place to showcase their works is Alliance Franço-Gambienne, which again has its limitations.
For a country of a million and half, this is really not encouraging. The fact that the university is producing many intelligent graduates who have a dream to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the nation is encouraging. But the university does not have the magic wand to wave away all the problems affecting the realm of arts. Eventually many will be forced to do what will only take them through the day, and not what they feel can bring them fulfillment and has the potential of bringing out the latent talents they have.
The government and all stakeholders have to make greater efforts in this area. There should be more publishing houses and art galleries. The budding music industry which is making even greater strides should also be supported and sustained. We should not let history repeat itself, by letting what happened to Ifangbondi and others happen again. The industry should be sustained and kept alive and this will never happen when there is no helping hand from those who can make that a possibility.
The Copyright Act which has been in force for some time now is a welcome development and should be enforced to the fullest extent of the law. The protection of the intellectual property of the artists helps enormously in ensuring their financial security and independence. Those who infringe these rights should be brought to book and punished, so that it would be eradicated once and for all. Unless these measures are taken it will be difficult to get to the promised land as far as our creative arts industry is concerned.
The many benefits that accrue from the promotion of the arts and literature cannot be underestimated. Ultimately, the country and the economy will benefit enormously. It’s a duty upon all and sundry, from the government to the private sector and individuals to help in making the art and creative renaissance a reality. In the fullness of time, the fruits that shall be reaped will go towards the creation of a Gambia that will be cherished by generations yet unborn.]]>