Camagwini plans to keep artists at home

Yoliswa Sobuwa

AWARD-winning musician Camagwini is on a mission to keep Eastern Cape musicians in the province and is hoping a four-part documentary she is filming will do just that.

The 31-year-old, originally of New Brighton but now living in Johannesburg, said she had seen first-hand the heartbreak many artists experienced when they left for greener pastures.

Her documentary New Originals, being filmed in Nelson Mandela Bay, will look at why artists leave the province, and how the youth use art to uplift themselves and others, and will include fashion, visual arts, music and dance.

“When I left EC in 2006, there were no opportunities for artists in Nelson Mandela Bay. Things were not easy in Johannesburg as I had to start afresh,” she said.

“When I left PE, I was sure about my craft and I had mastered everything. I had to define my voice and polish my writing skills. If I was not strong I could have thrown in the towel.”

She said artists now did not have to go through all that. “Things have changed and artists don’t have to move to Johannesburg in order to make it in the music industry.

“These days technology has made it easy for artists to record and send their music to recording artists wherever they are.

“I also feel that local municipalities are not doing enough to support their local artists. It doesn’t make sense for the municipality to spend millions of rands on one festival. That amount could have organised many festivals during the course of the year to support local music.”

Camagwini will take time to listen to artists and share her successes and mistakes with them. She also hopes to find out what support Eastern Cape musicians need to ensure they are successful, and implement those changes.

She said she would organise a free concert to showcase some of the Bay’s young talent at the Opera House on Monday. “On the day of the concert I will also give a performance. I have invited Gallo Music Publishing and Bozza Records to have them commit to helping young talent here in PE.

“Zwai Bala, who is also going to feature in the documentary, will help create a demo studio where artists can record demos.”

The concert starts at 6pm. Those wanting to attend should reply to or send Camagwini a Facebook message.

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