2-in-1 Agriculture and Arts & Culture Imbizo: Watering Seeds of Change
By Selokela Molamodi
The following article is about the 2-in-1 Agriculture and Arts & Culture National Imbizo that took place on the 28th of October 2023 at The Commune in Braamfontein, right opposite The Forge. The Arts and Agriculture sectors organized this colourful gathering to celebrate the work they have done so far in 2023. Activators, farmers and creatives alike were in attendance.
The 2-in-1 Agriculture and Arts & Culture National Imbizo took place at The Commune, a cosy café in the heart of Braamfontein, not so far from the Activate offices. The imbizo was organized by the youth in both sectors, led by Nathacia Olivier. It aimed to give an overview of the work done by the sectors in 2023.
It was an impressive turnout which the program saw start on time. It was a gathering for young people and by young people in the agriculture and the arts & culture space. “The arts and agriculture spaces have been stagnant and that’s why we invited activators to be here and help us fill the gap,” Nathacia said in her welcome remarks. “We have a lot of young people who are farmers but are not recognized,” she highlighted.
PhD Candidate and Founder of Uhuru Career Guidance and Learning, Dr Morokane Madiba, gave the keynote address for the Agricultural sector. Her six-page long speech did not bore the audience as she touched on issues that to the youth. “Agriculture provides an opportunity for employment and development,” she said. Dr Madiba also roped in the importance of the youth’s engagement in political activism. She urged the youth in attendance to register to vote as it was not just a once-off decision but a lifestyle. This was met with resounding cheers in the room, a clear indication of understanding of support. “Agriculture is the heartbeat of the people because people will always need to eat. Agriculture is not just about farming, it’s about understanding food systems, from seed to plate,” she highlighted.
Activator and founder of CherryStar Films Tsakani Matavela led the address on the arts & culture sector. Here, she highlighted the work that the sector has done so far in 2023. “One of our biggest challenges as young people is compliance. Often, we have great ideas but we are not compliant and that’s why we feel like we are failing,” she said. Matavela took the audience through a PowerPoint presentation, highlighting some of the benefits the youth reaped from attending a film-making and scriptwriting workshop that was hosted earlier this year.
For the agriculture sector, activators Pearl Sibiya and Kgomotso Itumeleng gave an update on the work they have done this year through the A! Go-Green Agri G-Green project in the agriculture sector. “As young people of colour, we need to take farming seriously. It’s more than just about the land,” Kgomotso said. Thanks to the various trainings and workshops Kgomotso has become an invested farmer who carries his farming products everywhere, even on the day he was dressed like a farmer! Pearl Sibiya gave an update on how the Limpopo province had been since the implementation of the project. “Compliance goes a long way in farming because when there are funds available to help farmers, you will be left out because you don’t have the right documents,’” she said.
It would not be an arts imbizo without a bit of DIY. After lunch was served, attendees were split into two groups: agriculture and arts & culture. The agriculture group planted various seeds in pots plants which they took home and the arts group did visual arts in smaller groups. Others even decided to paint their pot plants. The imbizo was a success that left everyone empowered and inspired to plant more, create more and register to vote!
About the author:
Selokela ‘Slu’ Molamodi
“I am a conversationalist, host of Hope Alive Breakfast, DOP at Speakingdom and a change agent who believes in social justice.”