THE Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture in conjunction with its Communications, Science and Technology counterpart yesterday held a creative workshop for local artistes at Pioneer Mall.
The workshop was part of the inaugural Arts, Innovation and Culture Week, which started on Monday and ends on Saturday with a musical festival in Morija featuring local and South African acts.
In attendance during the lively event was Tourism, Environment and Culture Minister Likeleli Tampane, Communications, Science and Technology Minister Khotso Letsatsi and artists from a cross section of genres.
In his address, Mr Letsatsi urged the artists to take advantage of the impending digital migration to come up with content for the 20 television channels that would be available when the technology is launched. The digital migration, which is likely to take place in November in Lesotho, involves shifting broadcasters from analogue to digital signals, and the process is key for opening up more frequencies and faster mobile broadband services.
“Let us seize the opportunities to be created by digital migration and create content that will market us to the rest of the world as we will be exchanging programmes with other countries, and in the process earn royalties,” said Mr Letsatsi.
“Since 2013, when digital migration was internationally launched, we have embarked on a mission to educate people about opportunities that will come with the migration, which include wider coverage and the creation of our own programmes.
“It is expensive to create television content, so my plea to you is to form working groups in different sectors of the arts, as unity can help us grow. The Lesotho National Development Corporation will be available to meet you halfway in producing your work.”
Veteran actor and playwright, Scout Gonzales, called for more concerted support for local artists. Gonzales said promoters should not always be bringing in foreign artists at major events since Basotho have enough talent to rise to the occasion.
Theatre-producer and scriptwriter, Boreng Hlalele, applauded the ministries for the initiative and urged artists not to rely solely on government for funding but unite and come up with their own initiatives.