The creative industry incorporates all forms of art, from music, film, visual arts, TV, dance, fashion, and many others. 2020 saw a huge rise in opportunities for creatives, with the industry in Africa currently employing half a million people and generating over a screaming $4.2 billion in revenue.
This is only the beginning of something far greater as there is still a large amount of untapped potential and scope for growth in this evolving industry. This is why a Creative Revolution may be the key to this success and identifying what role each and every one of us play in this sect is equally as important.
As a teeming group, one of our primary objectives is to create an auspicious and sustainable community for budding brands and creatives. Needless to say, the creative arts industry in Africa has already been booming for years, especially with regard to music and film.
When discussing the music scene, Fela Kuti is a classic example of a Nigerian-born artist who went on to become arguably one of the world’s most influential musicians and often is described as the founding father of Afrobeats. His unique sound even influenced those from across the world such as Missy Elliot and The Roots.
Similarly with regards to film, dating back to 1896, South Africa’s film industry remains one of the oldest in the world with many of its films receiving international recognition. Nollywood is another big quintessence of excellence in the film industry that has dominated television screens across the world since it was first established in 1992 and now is the second-largest film producer in the world.
At Creat, we organize weekly creative master class sessions, wherein we bring in successful and experienced facilitators from various industries to speak on the highs and lows of their lives and careers in a bid to reach out to someone who was about to give up or someone who needs that extra push to gas up that million-dollar idea.
Nevertheless, there are two key factors that show why this new decade in particular provides the landscape and potential for a creative revolution. Deep connectivity via a “Creative Revolution” will drive Africa to be a leading contributor to the world’s creative industries.
If nothing else, the 2020 pandemic demonstrated that the dependency on physical trade and tourism cannot be a country’s primary source of revenue, which is the unfortunate case for many countries across the world.
As a result of the technological advancements, the digitalisation era presents many alternative opportunities for growth and development, in terms of creative showcase and commerce.
Digitalisation means that the world is becoming more interconnected than ever and therefore creatives in Africa not only have a wider platform to promote their art and craft, but people also have a greater awareness of what is out there to consume.
Digitalisation has transformed the way in which companies advertise and reach various audience types; this has aided the successes of countless SMEs and micro-businesses, and so, it is fair to say that the market of trade in creative goods is also a massive beneficiary.
With the aid of online platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, Instagram, and many others, the ability to publish and consume art has become almost instantaneous compared to a decade ago when it depended on the physical trade of goods. Netflix in particular took the step towards creating a platform for African TV and Film to be shared and consumed (talk about capitalizing in the moment), with the streaming platform even producing African series originals, only scratching the surface of the industry’s potential.
2020 marked a notable rise in Cultural Globalisation due to moments of celebration and shared grief that synced the African community at home and abroad. A series of Black Lives Matter protests as well as End SARS across the world woke many to the importance of support within the Black Community as well as educating others.
One way or the other, this led to a convergence of traditions worldwide. Music and films such as Beyonce’s “Black is King” and many more provided moments of mass celebration and appreciation within the community. These moments were not only important in spreading love but also in acknowledging and demonstrating the talent and ability of African creatives.
Having stated these, it is evident that not only is there a market for the consumption of goods produced by African creatives but also, the platforms for their success exist, are growing, but they can only thrive in an environment that fosters unity.
It is key to note that Africa already has a large creative industry but, in order to achieve this “Creative Revolution”, investment into infrastructure is the key, most importantly improving the continents’ access to technology and the internet.
If given the opportunity, several countries in Africa will be able to present and document a myriad of cultures and talents that will further contribute to a series of exciting creative productions and nurture the growth and development of the continent.