Being an "Upcoming Artist" in Mzansi

Hard Work, Focus, and Determination

An "upcoming artist" is an artistic individual who has begun their journey of fighting against all impediments to become the successful individual they desire to become within the realms of the creative industry. This article intends to enlighten those who consume the creativity of South Africa's creative industry by focusing on the current state of the South African creative industry, current state of South Africa's upcoming artists, advantages and disadvantages of being an upcoming artist in South Africa, and the challenges that South African upcoming artists face on a day-to-day basis.

South Africa's creative industry is on its way to prosperity, especially in the departments of music, fashion, and visual media. Musicians such as house music expert Black Coffee, media and television personality Pearl Thusi, and fashion guru David Tlale have gone against all impediments in order to reach their desired dreams. They have gone against all impediments to inspire and motivate upcoming artists following behind their footsteps through rising to national stardom and breaking boundaries to reach international recognition. The success of such creative individuals is the evidence of South Africa's creative industry's rise to prosperity. When we look at these individuals' lifestyles on social media platforms and television, we see the luxuries that are associated with them. We then dwell on fantasising those luxuries and forget that they come at a price. Their price is hard work, focus, and determination. These characteristics are absent in eighty percent of Mzanzi's upcoming artists.

Being an isolated creative doesn't mean you're an upcoming artist. An isolated creative is an artistic individual who creates but takes no initiative in finding ways to expose their creative work for recognition. An isolated creative is a writer who writes influential content but chooses to hide it in their diary, a musician whose music ends up on their best friend's phone, a painter whose paintings are viewed by the silence of his/her bedroom, a DJ who dances to his/her own mixes, a fashion designer whose clothes are only known by his/her family, etc.

Being an upcoming artist means being active in the upcoming fields of the creative industry. It means waking up every morning to pursue the desired exposure that will give you recognition you long for. All of the successful creative individuals mentioned above had to be active in the upcoming fields in order to reach international recognition. They grounded themselves in hard work, focus, and determination.

The state of upcoming artists in Mzansi is not at a neutral state. It is only a small percentage of these creatives who have the characteristics of hard work, focus, and determination within themselves. Most upcoming artists have incorrect information with regards to the business operations of the creative industry. This makes them have negative thoughts concerning their journey to successful careers in the creative industry and demotivates them. This conjures a feeling of laziness within them which leads to lack of discipline.

When we hear the term "upcoming artist," we tend to associate it with challenges and disadvantages. We forget that being an upcoming artist can come with a package of few advantages. As an upcoming artist, you get an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them before reaching a successful level. The upcoming period of an artist is the preparation period. Another advantage is that upcoming artists get an opportunity to study the creative industry and identify a gap in the industry, which enables them to create unique content to fill-up the identified gap.

There are two major disadvantages that upcoming artists in Mzansi have in common. The first is lack of appropriate information with regards to the South African creative industry; the second disadvantage is lack of funding and resources to help produce and pursue the desired dreams of an artistic individual. Most upcoming artists in South Africa produce less quality work due to financial strain that disables them from purchasing quality resources that will enable them to produce quality work. Those who have access to resources that produce quality work either have lack of information concerning activities such as branding, marketing and distribution or lack funds to invest in such activities. Finding funding, resources, and the appropriate information concerning the South African creative industry is one of the most difficult tasks to do as an upcoming artist but through hard work, focus, and determination it can be achieved. 

The journey to artistic greatness is not an easy one. Learning from those who have reached the desired dreams is inspiring and motivates one to keep going forward.Hard work, focus, and determination are characteristics upcoming artists should adapt to in order reach national stardom and journey through to international recognition.

Written by Dumisani Gift Mbatha

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Nguni Heru
Nguni Heru

Nguni Heru, born Dumisani Gift Mbatha, is a 20yrs old musical voodooist from Thokoza- a small township in the deeper realms of Ekurhuleni (Gauteng, South Africa).Nguni also does written and visual work for short and long length film.

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Being an "Upcoming Artist" in Mzansi