How Bushfire Gives Back
HOW BUSHFIRE GIVES BACK
MTN BUSHFIRE believes that we all have a role to play in making our society’s a better place. For MTN BUSHFIRE the arts are a means of initiating a collective response for positive change through the free expression that the arts offer. By providing a platform for free expression, people can develop as artists and as individuals to find their voice. In finding their voice, people are more motivated and confident to address the challenges in their lives and inspire others to do so as well, whether this be in the home or in their communities. With this confidence and inspiration, we can all then give back to the areas which we call home.
MTN BUSHFIRE is inspired by this virtuous circle that the arts provide, and by the people within that circle who Bring Their Fire to their everyday lives and to MTN BUSHFIRE.
Here are some of the ways in which MTN BUSHFIRE gives back to the community:
EDUCATION & ARTS DEVELOPMENT
The MTN BUSHFIRE Schools Festival has exposed over 1700 children, teachers and educational facilitators to the language of the Arts in the absence of a formal National Arts Curriculum.
In conjunction with Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture, Bushfire seeks to showcase emerging talent. Since Bushfire Festival’s inception, numerous opportunities have been offered to empower and promote local artists. Over 800 local artists have performed at BUSHFIRE over the years with several acts moving onto become well known performers, including Bholoja, PelePele, Nomzamo, Nancy G, Flow E among others.
MTN BUSHFIRE Arts Round Table provides interaction with top industry professionals on how to succeed in the performing arts. Over 700 local arts industry stakeholders participated in workshops offered in focusing on the music industry, brand and social media management.
MTN BUSHFIRE is fiercely committed to promoting condom use, HIV/AIDS testing and facilitating dialogue about Social Behaviour Change. Over 500,000 condoms have been distributed over the course of past festivals and and access to testing and counselling has been available throughout.
The Barn is a space dedicated to dialogue and exploration of current social issues in Swaziland. This space focuses on topics surrounding sustainability, environmental stewardship & innovation.
An independent study conducted by the Danish Centre for Cultural Development (DCCD) concluded that typically for every SZL1 spent by the Festival, SZL6 is generated for the Swazi economy. In 2015 this equated to some E33 million generated for the local economy through external businesses benefitting from the increase in tourism.
MTN BUSHFIRE creates direct employment for over 700 people at the festival, and numerous trading opportunities for local businesses with festivalgoers. Over 50 local companies were hired to provide services during the festival weekend.
The MTN BUSHFIRE Marketplace promotes regional artisans and their products. The MTN BUSHFIRE HANDCRAFT MARKET has provided SWIFT (Swaziland Fair Trade Association) with the sponsorship opportunity to be able to expose their member artisans to an exclusive sales opportunity. In 2015, roughly 40 artisans made sales of ±E500,000.
Festival and merchandise profits are donated to Swazi charities. Close to E1.4 million has been raised for Young Heroes and Gone Rural boMake since 2007.
Since the very first BUSHFIRE in 2007, the festival has donated to Young Heroes , a child sponsorship programme that assists Swaziland’s orphan families to stay together by funding essentials such as food and clothing. Since 2007, MTN BUSHFIRE & partners have donated over E1,099, 000.
GONE RURAL BoMAKE
BoMake, the non-profit arm of Gone Rural (Pty) Ltd was founded in 2006 to complement the economic empowerment activity provided to over 750 women artisans working with Gone Rural.
BoMake, is dedicated to meeting the needs of these women, their families and communities. Through its community-led approach it seeks to empower communities through capacity building and access to information. Programs provide access to basic services; health, education, community development, water, sanitation & hygiene. Its grass-roots processes ensure interventions are relevant and sustainable.
MTN BUSHFIRE has donated E375,809 to Gone Rural Bomake to date.
THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL CIRCUIT (SAMFC)
SAMFC is a Festival Tour circuit taking place during the month of May each year. This select group of festivals all share a common creative aesthtic and vision for arts development in the region. SAMFC includes the Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA), AZGO, Africa Day, MTN BUSHFIRE, ZAKIO MUSIK and SAKIFO MUSIK.
SAMFC is a practical, results oriented network of six festivals that all coincide in a manageable touring timeframe. Aligned festival dates facilitate more performances by addressing challenges associated with geography/distance and costs.
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Official Photographers - Bram Lanmers and Sydelle Willow-Smith