Golekanye Molapisi, Corporate Communications and PR Manager at Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC)

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) Foundation yesterday joined forces with Thapong Visual Arts Centre to host an artist development workshop as part of  its 40th year of celebrations. BTC says the event is part of  some corporate social responsibility initiatives that the organisation has lined up.

The objective of the initiatives is to give back to the communities and people that have been supportive through the years, BTC says.

The workshop is aimed at facilitating and equipping visual artists with an array of skills to improve and make their artwork more magnificent and appealing. It is in its second year running.

This two- day workshop is part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties towards promotion of the arts and creative sector in Botswana. In 2018, the BTC Foundation agreed to sponsor Thapong with P1.7 million for three years to help create opportunities and open a window for the growth of the industry as an employer and revenue earner for artists.

“As stakeholders, we struggle to extricate ourselves from the ideology that views the arts as merely a part-time preoccupation designed only to entertain or delight. The arts must and should be viewed as a potential contributor to economic growth, job creation and social emancipation,” said Golekanye Molapisi, Corporate Communications and PR Manager at Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC)

The BTC Foundation, a vehicle through which BTC delivers its corporate social responsibility mandate, is the official sponsor of the BTC Phonebook cover design and TAYA competition.

In line with the MOU between the two parties, the subject matter of the workshops, in Gaborone and Mahalapye, will be based on learnings from benchmarking exercises to the SADC region, recommendations and feedback from various judges on the annual BTC Phonebook Cover and Thapong Artist of the Year Award (TAYA) competitions.

“Through our MOU and sponsorship agreement, we want to develop the visual arts at grassroots level and afford artists an opportunity through workshops to share skills with an array of established professionals to ensure that local artists gain international exposure and widen their scope,” said Molapisi.

Thapong Visual Arts Centre Coordinator, Reginald Bakwena, said the workshop will enable artists to learn and pick up skills from experienced artists and enhance their mastery in different areas such as craftsmanship, art criticism, and innovation, artwork pricing and getting ready for competitions.

BTC celebrating 40 years of progress and social development is keen to nurture local talent by offering artists a platform to unleash their potential enabling them to make a living from their craft. Besides making public spaces more appealing and approachable, BTC believes that unleashing the artistic talent that abounds in our country, can help Botswana to become the hub of the creative artistic industry in the SADC region drawing tourists to our cities and towns to soak up the creative scene.

Over the years, BTC as an ingenious local company, has been giving back to Batswana by supporting various initiatives from sport development, environmental protection, entrepreneurship and innovation to arts and culture development “because when communities that we operate within thrive we also thrive as a business,” said Molapisi

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