Betty is breaking artistic chains

23 January 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Yolanda Nel Told that she would be “wasting her brain” if she decided to go into the arts, Betty Sibeso is now showing the world that you can make a living in the arts.
As a Namibian entrepreneur, Betty is inspired by the growth of the creative economy in the country. “Art is not a dead end! You can make a career out of it and earn a living,” she said.
Betty is playing host to the I Create Namibia workshops taking place at the Goethe Institute over the course of the next few months. These workshops focus on different topics that are relevant to the creative industry in Namibia.
“I started with it in 2017 and we had 13 speakers from the industry on board,” she says proudly, adding that she quickly found that people wanted more.
This year, there will be one course a month of two hours each. “There is a lot of interest. People want to learn,” she says.
According to Betty, she decided to shorten the course because then people can join those courses that interest them. “If they don’t want to learn about the accounting aspects of a business, they don’t have to. They just join in where they have an interest.”
Except for the successful workshop she is involved in, Betty is also the co-founder of Monochrome Magazine. She says that while she studied fashion and advertising at the University of Namibia, her love for magazines didn’t portray what she saw in her own country, saying “I wanted to create something that Namibians can relate to.”
One of her friends liked her idea and together they embarked on the idea of starting a magazine in Namibia. “Our dreams were quickly shattered because no business was willing to provide us with financial support,” she admits. However, they decided not to give up that easily. “So, we decided to go online and by 2017 we were boasting with a blog and a website,” she says.
With her knowledge of the fashion industry, Betty feels designers are still playing it safe, and no one is pushing the envelope. “I hope to see to some growth in that area,” she admits.
Betty would like to see more local clothing stores. “Ally Angula did very will with My Republik and I would love to see more of that. It was sad seeing it close. It’s as if the industry has to start over again to get to that point again.”
Still, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, she says, and “we will get there.”
As for the arts, no one is wasting their brain!
The next workshop at the Goethe Institut is on how to run a creative business taking place on 2 February. On 28 March, attendees can look forward to learning everything about tax, while the session on 25 April will dive into funding, loans and grants.

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