Art, in every single form, should no longer be seen just as a hobby, it should be recognised as a profession. Painters, photographers, visual and graphic artists, singers, songwriters, poets, rappers and all other artists need to get more attention and recognition in Lesotho. In March, 2017 an initiative started to pursue exactly this aim: Open Studio Lesotho.
Open Studio Lesotho organises monthly shows at Pioneer Mall, Maseru to promote, support and connect local artists. The shows are open for everyone and they are free of charge. Every month one or two artists are put on the spotlight through interviews or other marketing movements. But also other artists from different sectors are part of the shows as ‘supporting acts’. The first Open Studio Show took place on 24th March, 2017.
Their recent show took place on 21st April, 2017. The guest artist was a visual artist and curator Nthabiseng Rammatli. On Friday she exhibited some of her work at the Open Studio show. Working as an artist she has been handpicked to shadow the curator of Oliewenhuis in Bloemfontein.
Open Studio also tries to strengthen the connection and discussion between different artists and also the audience. Therefore, Nthabiseng Rammatli was interviewed and the audience was given the chance to ask questions and to discuss.
Mr Sekila Jagaban S’killz van Molapo, popularly known as O.G S’killz the star of the show brought down the house as he senerated the audience with melanchony lyrics yet upbeat tunes. Coming from Leribe, he started rapping at a tender age while was just in primary school.
O.G S’killz and Nthabiseng have focused on their passion since they were young. For them to be recognised by Open Studio as part of the growing community of young artists in Lesotho is encouraging. Other young artists should learn from them and parents should be supportive to this upcoming breed of clean hustlers, who see life’s challenges as an opportunity for growth and improvement.
Visual Artist Nthabiseng Rammatli in the interview with MC, Mr. Sobukwe Mapefane
The artist pointed out that for her and for the inspiration for her work it is important to know about Who You Are. For her this is not only a question of ancestors. To be aware of who you are does not only mean to know everything about your past history but also to be aware of your culture and of who you want to be in the future.
As the aim is to encourage Basotho young and old therefore this was not an exclusively youth affair, there was also in attendance adults, some parents and other adult supporters to grace the show. UNESCO through the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO was one of the sponsors of the show in line with its mandate of supporting the arts under its Culture Programme.
The next Open Studio show will take place in a day to be announced in May, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pioneer Mall. If you are interested in not only attending the show, but also being a part of the team behind it, this is now your chance. Open Studio is looking for three interns to assist with the monthly live sessions. If you are interested you can e-mail to email@example.com or call: 59448010 / 56964009