If you have been following social media closely especially the Bulawayo circles you’ll know that the Urban Culxure house isn’t in order. After enjoying a successful 2016 bundled with (other) awards and workshops, this year just didn’t start on a good note. As soon as the NAMA board released the name of its 2017 nominees, Nigel Ndlovu, one of the initiative co-founders, showed his disappointed for not being nominated a 2nd year running with Urban Culxure. Although most of us may have been disappointed that they didn’t get the nomination, Nigel went a step further to record his disappointed in an Audio clip that quickly hit social media & found its way to Power FM among other stations and ears. Kuda, the other co-founder, quickly put out the fire by issuing a statement to distance the initiative from personal issues, which was a clever move. What I still don’t understand though is how Nigel failed to contain himself the same way other people contain themselves when they are left out on the Urban Culxure top 100 most influential people from Bulawayo? Anyways that’s not the issue today, I’m just here to share what we can possibly learn & unlearn from such a situation. I’m a positive blogger so I managed to rope some lessons from all this and because my middle name is linked to sharing, here’s a lil something for y’all:
1. People are watching, Always!
Once you decide to be a creative, then you have made the choice to be under the people’s watchful eye. One thing about people, we barely applaud the nice things you do but we are ready to share our opinion on the bad. You do 100 good things, it’s what you should be doing that in the first place so hurray for you, but do one bad thing & we’re out guns blazing. Once you decide to be a creative you’re now a walking brand. Remember when Trevor D was involved in an exchange of fists with that other guy? Remember when Calvin double dared Jesus to take his life? Remember when MC Chita ranted about Shoko? All these were done on personal accounts but because they are creatives, that makes them brands & we’re focused on brands rather than people, it makes it hard to play both cards at once. People may not RT or like your posts or even reply or share but best believe they are watching. 5 years of hard work could be destroyed under 140 characters or 1mb of voice. Data is expensive, keep that in mind.
2. Communication is important
So according to the statement issued, the two co-founders never communicated either actions. Communication is vital in any relationship, even more so in any organization. An initiative such as Urban Culxure is a collection of creatives, among them the co-founders & contributors, surely there should be some form of command chain especially where social media is concerned. Imagine if a contributor just wrote an article and posted without anyone proofreading and stuff? Or one co-founder giving free advertisement to their friend without consulting anyone? Yes, I can imagine. So communication is a lesson carried from relationships to any undertaking that involves a human being actually. I keep referring to branding, I hope you’re taking note.
3. Recognition is a creative need!
Well here is the thing, and maybe it’s just me: in as much as we get some love for our blogs, likes, shares, RTs, and stuff, we all want that major recognition that will show everyone that not only are we good, but we are good in comparison. It’s one thing to have people say you’re the best, it’s another having your bio read ARTIST OF THE YEAR. After being in the game for so long you start to feel you need that MVP status & maybe a trophy or two on the shelves (this boosts your portfolio by the way). The Urban Culxure issue showed me how important it is to be recognized on a slightly bigger platform than your audience. Sometimes we just tell ourselves that the biggest award is the love from the target market but that’s inadequate, we need the bigger reward. It’s easier to get a contract because you’re a 3 time best blogger as compared to being rumoured to be people’s favourite (mostly your circle anyways).
I just chose 3 because those are the lessons I could pick of head but with every discussion, every tweet, I keep learning more and more. On Wednesday I couldn’t even finish pampering my #WCW in the DM because Curate Byo was interviewing the remainder of Urban Culxure on twitter, interesting questions & responses. I’m glad that the brand picked itself up and continued to March on, although I was a bit dissappointed as I was expecting an apology from Nigel moving on. However I wish him well in his endeavors as a creative. Lastly Urban Culxure made a call for contributors and those who’ve always wanted bigger platforms to propel themselves as bloggers this is a big opportunity, grab it. Thanks to Urban Culxure for the lessons, too bad zim dancehall isn’t that big in Bulawayo otherwise an #UrbanCulxureRiddim wouldn’t be such a bad idea.