Celebrating the power of human imagination and ingenuity on World Creativity and Innovation Day
By Luise Mwanyangapo.
Creativity and Innovation are found in every aspect of human endeavor – creative expressions influence our way of life both consciously and subconsciously, be it from the bed one wakes up from in the morning to the shoes that we wear to how we speak. Whereas innovation embraces the methodologies and styles in the creative process to enhance the human experience.
What better way to marry the two and spotlight how far this industry can pivot sustainable development than on World Creativity and Innovation Day?
The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) opened new pathways for incorporating culture into social and economic inclusion policies and environmental sustainability for innovative solutions. Therefore, the commemoration of the day on 21 April was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2017, to raise awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem-solving concerning advancing the 2030 Agenda.
Multimedia Creative Director and Content Strategist Othilia Mungoba who is better known as “Tutu” is
of the opinion that the creative sector is one of the most impactful and influential mediums that mould and shape our identity not only as Namibians but as global citizens.
In 2022 Othilia resigned from her full-time job to assume her calling as a creative entrepreneur, which came with a set of challenges from financial constraints to establishing her services/brand outside the reputational institutional conformity she previously worked in.
Othilia further narrated that Namibians are not fully cognizant of their purchasing power as there is a mismatch between understanding arts and culture as a need and not a want. She strongly believes that fostering intersectoral collaboration and partnerships goes a long way toward boosting the creative fraternity, as many creative entrepreneurs endeavor to preserve on their own due to limited available support.
To celebrate Namibia’s ingenuity, the Katutura Community Arts Centre (KCAC) hosted the World Creativity and Innovation Day commemorations under the theme “Step Out and Innovate: Creating an Enabling Environment for Creativity and Innovation to Thrive “, in partnership with UN Namibia, MultiChoice, Namibia Film Commission, the College of the Arts (COTA) and Ms. Othilia Mungoba as the facilitator.
“For Namibia, the Day provides an opportunity to embrace the idea that innovation prevails to harness the economic potential of the country and reiterates the fact that creativity and mass entrepreneurship can provide new momentum for economic growth and job creation. The creative sector offers expanding opportunities for women, men, and youth,” said Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, UNESCO Head of Office and Representative to Namibia.
The day accorded arts students, alumni, and lecturers a platform to showcase their talent – much to the
delight of the public who were in attendance. The host venue was embellished with artifacts and paintings from Petrus Amuthenu and Frans Uushona – multimedia visual artists and COTA alumni; Hishishi PAPA Shikongeni – a multimedia visual artist and COTA lecturer; Helena Angula – a fashion designer and lecturer at KCAC who displayed a unique diversity of Namibia fashion styles with mannequins and live models.
For entertainment, the Equipped Dance Academy (EDA) graced the audience with a dance rhythm that represents unity. Founded and owned by dancer/choreographer Stanley Mareka, EDA offers technical instruction in the art of dance. The audience was further enticed by a poetry performance by the talented Franklin Shitaleni and a musical performance by Ndenda.
The closing session of the programme had a screening line-up of Namibian-produced films featuring Hairareb, The Weight of Tomorrow (Documentary), Open Cage, and Grootman (Big Man).
“This year’s theme resonates with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture’s continued commitment to create and, where possible, provide the fertile ground to stimulate and develop creativity at different levels of human development. This is with a focus on arts opportunities provided for in the formal school system to learners and main youth at the College of the Arts,” said M’kariko Amagulu, Deputy Director of Arts at the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture
To build on the momentum from last year’s commemorations and to have an impact beyond just celebrating the Day, as a follow-up, the UN through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) accelerator lab will launch a creative design challenge called Make-a-thon, which encourages people of all ages and skill levels to create works of art that capture the essence of Namibia, drawing inspiration from the country's unique landscapes and cultural
“By investing in the industry, we are creating opportunities for local talent, telling local stories, and adding to the stability of the industry,” concluded Elzita Beukes, Head of Corporate Affairs at Multichoice Namibia.
From left – Ms. Errolice Tjipura, Development Coordination Officer at United Nations Namibia, Ms. Helvi Moshell, National Programme Officer for Culture at UNESCO, Mr. Djaffar Moussa- Elkadhum, UNESCO Head of Office and Representative to Namibia, Ms. Elzita Beukes, Head of Corporate Affairs at Multichoice Namibia; Ms. Angelika Schroeder, Rector at the College of the Art, Mr. Gideon Uwu-Khaeb, Head of Centre KCAC Campus; Ms. M’kariko Amagulu, Deputy Director of Arts at the Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture.