FNB Eswatini expands its support for the development of the arts in Eswatini with sponsorship of the MTN Bushfire Arts Round Table forum.

The Arts Round Table forum is an annual series of workshops that connects local and international artists and industry players, with the aim of sharing best practices and helping to professionalise careers in the Eswatini arts industry. Over 800 local artists have benefited from the Arts Round Table to date.

“As a bank, we are alive to the fact that the Arts play a pivotal role in the economy of any nation. But, like any other sector, the creative industry has been adversely affected by the pandemic. In response to this, FNB is looking to play an active role in the revival of the local arts and music industry,” stated Ncamiso Dlamini, FNB Executive Head of Corporate and Commercial Investment Banking, at the official launch of the MTN Bushfire festival last week.

A long-time sponsor of the MTN Bushfire festival, FNB Eswatini has increased its sponsorship for 2022 to E600,000, including E200,000 allocated directly to the Arts Round table. The Arts Round Table 2022 edition will be held on Friday, 27th May. This year is particularly exciting because FNB will be supporting the dynamic, new partnership between MTN Bushfire and the Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC), a Europe-based industry conference aiming at building bridges between the European and Southern African music markets.

“This partnership offers a ground-breaking opportunity for local artists and industry players to interact with their international counterparts and make connections that will see artists from Eswatini gaining more access to the European music market,” noted Jiggs Thorne, Creative Director for MTN Bushfire.

ARMC speakers and delegates from the Southern African region, The Netherlands, Germany, Rwanda and the Americas will attend this year’s Arts Round Table, to share best practices and discussions around the themes of 1) Women’s Voices: Amplifying them in the music business; 2) Building Bridges: exchange between Africa and the world; and 3) Independent Africa: developing, understanding and creating new opportunities.

“One of the crucial aims of the Arts Round Table is to embark on conversations which showcase how individuals and organisations can succeed as professionals in the entertainment industry, while capacitating participants on how to make the Arts an income-generating business,” said Ncamiso Dlamini. “This aligns with the Bank’s intent of providing impactful support to emaSwati seeking to grow their businesses, and will create an opportunity for positive spin-offs in terms of cultural exchange, tourism and development of the music sector.”

FNB is the official banking partner at the MTN Bushfire festival, providing technical support for cashless transactions as well as digital and mobile banking solutions. In 2021, FNB sponsored The Collab between Sands and The One Who Sings, resulting in the creation of the powerful anthem “Give Me Fire”.

Aspiring participants from Eswatini should look out for the MTN Bushfire Arts Round Table application call-out coming out soon on MTN Bushfire social media, or enrol at one of the currently-running MTN Bushfire Roadshows to apply to participate in the 2022 Arts Round Table.