Why has it become a norm for Namibians to recognise and appreciate talented people only after the person has died?
This issue came to mind recently when a street in Windhoek was renamed after the iconic veteran local musician, the late Jackson Kaujeua who died on 27 May in 2010.
It is important to honour talented people, living or dead. But, I feel that it is more special to give recognition while our great ones are right here to appreciate it. It really saddens me to know that in Namibia, the potential of a great artist’s work is not recognised while they are alive and will only be applauded once they are gone.
If someone’s creativity has greatly impacted your life, then let them know right now! Tell them, lavish them with gifts and awards and accolades right now, while they are here to receive these wonderful things. It is as simple as that!
Write them a letter, give them a thank you speech on social media or get an article published in a newspaper about their work. Express your feelings on how a certain person’s work who has improved your life. Never be ashamed to do it. Don’t be scared to acknowledge those who deserve it.
Let us buy their art while these creative people are still alive and stop downloading or getting free copies of their musical work. Artists need revenues to keep on performing and creating. Honour them by investing in their talent.
Knowing that their work is appreciated can motivate the special talents among us. Let’s not just gather together at funerals to give praise, but let us meet on a random day and laugh and show love to each other right now.
We need to show more appreciation for those whose work has inspired us to stand up after a painful time, smile at something beautiful, laugh through our tears or has inspired us to work harder after a setback.
Let us embrace not only artists who do great things with their talents but even those silently creative heroes in our communities and families. Why not give a special gift to the excellent singers in the church choir, an art teacher, a street artist, dancers in a program or theatre actors on stage whose performances moved you. Ask your political leaders to support the arts at budget time.
Art deserves applause. It is a great motivator. In most cases art can say things when no words can. Let us show those who are creative and whose artistic talents make life better, that we appreciate them.