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Eke A Living Off Performing Arts

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Saone Bikitshane
FRANCISTOWN: Thirty-three-year-old Saone Bikitshane has broken ranks in a male dominated profession of performing arts to make it her primary source of her income. Trading under Sesana Arts Agency, she aims to empower youth in Francistown, so that they can showcase their talents and sustain their standard of living.

Bikitshane told Business Monitor that the agency was formed in order to bridge the gap that exists in performing arts, especially in the second city. She added that Francistowners are dependent on art performers from Gaborone even though there is abundant talent in the city. She said that Sesana Arts Agency instills self-reliance in artists so that they can be dependant on themselves, and it (the agency) teaches them the spirit of hardwork and discipline. Bikitshane added that the agency attracted performing artists such as musicians, poets, traditional dancers, drama contemporary dancers just to name a few.

“My agency has so far registered over 32 performing artists and they are going to be paid on commission looking at the performances they have played.  The artists will be hired for corporate events to entertain guests through the skills and experience they gained from the agency,” she said.

She noted that for the agency to generate more income they coordinate fundraising activities, which give the youth a platform to portray their talents.

“I ventured into the art agency business so that I can prove people wrong and eliminate myths about performing arts.  People believe that performing arts are male-dominated and that one cannot depend on the industry financially.  I wanted to demonstrate that one can make a living through performing arts,” she said. “The initiative behind the agency is to also

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bring entertainment through different elements of artistic performances,” she added.

She said that her parents funded the agency when it started operating last year.

She added that after its establishment the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture boosted her business with P99,000 in order for her to expand the business.

Bikitshane noted that like any other business her agency is facing challenges such as pricing for performances in different events. “Some of the performing artists do not take their profession seriously and tend to charge people less money. For us this is a profession and we advocate for the business community to take us seriously.  Moreover people should not underestimate our talents by inviting people from Gaborone to give performances,” she said.

She encouraged youths in the industry of performing arts to work hard through perseverance, dedication and passion.

She added that youths should avoid venturing into a business just because of the profit margins, but should also consider their passion. Giving her background on performing arts, Bikitshane said that she has been a theatre activist since 1996.

She revealed that she was one of the first artists to perform in Ghetto Artists organisation. Ghetto Artists is a Non-Governmental Organisation and outreach programme that deals with youth empowerment, Human Immune Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) prevention and treatment, child development, employment, priority public health issues, child abuse and other issues.



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