As we inch towards the much anticipated Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards 2.0 we need to look at where we are at the moment, missed opportunities and what we could have done better. The voting lines are closed and as the final adjudication is taking place we among other nominees are keeping our fingers crossed and will not be surprised if some have paid tribute to the spiritual realm with hopes of landing the precious gong. We applaud the organizers for managing to bring in more partners in this trying economic environment but our gripe is with the nominees.
We were more than happy canvassing for votes but we took our eyes off the ball and missed a chance to market ourselves beyond our circle of influence. The way the majority of the nominees were canvassing for votes suggested that the target market are people who already know the artists and/or brand being voted for. If I know Luba the poet or may have come across her work then sure I can vote for her over the other nominees. What then happens to someone who doesn’t know Luba but comes across a message to vote for her, why should she be voted for over the other nominees? What happens to someone who scans the categories with the aim to foster collaborations but only sees a ‘vote for Luba’ message and that’s that? What am I getting at?
Why not put a link to our pages or content hubs, YouTube profiles, Instagram accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Behance, LinkedIn, Google+, Soundcloud, etc, which showcase our work? Have people see what we do before they vote just because we asked them to? We need to learn to monetize our craft through the use of social media. Yes we need the votes to win the award, but what happens in the event we do not win? Let’s draw traction towards ourselves using such platforms so that should we fail to land the gong we still use the experience to get bookings which translate to money in our pockets.
This was just a quick observation which I needed to put out there as we head for the Awards ceremony tomorrow. By this time I’m sure all our outfits, accents, dates, tickets, transport, etc are in order because tomorrow (26 May) we make history again. A special shout out from me to the organisers and sponsors for this wonderful journey which isn’t ending tomorrow, but continues till infinity. Special thank you too to everyone who has been showing us love from the first day, keep on supporting and working with us. The sun is out and am sure my garment is dry let me dash to the prophets one more time, we need this award.