FirstRand Namibia re-energizes local artistry
By Clifton Movirongo.
FNB, through the FirstRand Namibia Foundation this week announced its support into the country’s creative industry by acquiring an art piece, ‘Mother’, by a local artist Kapena Joe.
According to FirstRand Namibia CEO, Conrad Dempsey the approach to provide support to the creative economy is an extension of the bank’s existing and continued support to the industry as a whole.
“Art is something that makes you breathe a different kind of happiness. Why would we have art here? This isn’t an art gallery. Well, it’s inspirational and it helps creativity. It makes us breathe a little bit,” he said.
“We decided let’s take it a step further and buy a local piece or two of art per year. This will not only support those artists, but also create a stage for them. This is the first step on a long journey that we hope to walk with Namibian artists,” Dempsey added.
2020 was a tumultuous year for a variety of artistic industries, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic upending traditional ways of showing support for artists.
Joe, who was also attendance at the unveiling ceremony at the FNB headquarters, revealed that it was not an easy thing to dive into arts, nonetheless, he encourages the youth to be optimistic when considering a profession in visual arts.
This comes as Joe who comes from Opuwo in the Kunene region, is a former rugby player who gave up a “potentially lucrative” career in South Africa to be an artist.
“They say you cannot make a career out of this. But narratives shouldn’t be normative,” he commented.
In addition, when reflecting on Mother, the artist said there is no life without a mother, adding that FNB is the best place for the artwork, because of how the bank empowers humanity.
“Support from FNB and others is crucial, because sometimes all you need is that one person to tell you to go for that thing that you are afraid to go after and I’m very thankful for the opportunity,” he explained.
Through activating longstanding relationships, the FirstRand Namibia Foundation has been instrumental in supporting platforms such as RMB Song Night as well as to assist the local orchestra and the National Art Gallery of Namibia, concluded Dempsey.