South Coast Fever

Decision not to host Ugu Jazz Festival baffles artists

By not hosting the 2022 edition of the Ugu Jazz Festival, is Ugu District Municipality saying the arts sector in the district is less important?

By not hosting the 2022 edition of the Ugu Jazz Festival, is Ugu District Municipality saying the arts sector in the district is less important?

This was a concern raised by Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) Ugu chairperson, Siya Sotsu after the municipality told Fever that there will be no Ugu Jazz Festival this year.

Ugu municipal spokesperson, France Zama said the municipality is currently directing all its efforts on improving its core mandate which is providing water and sanitation services, adding that the festival will not be held.

Zama added that the municipality no longer has a contract with the service provider, Jabulani Zama of Eyadini Lounge, as the contract period lapsed. In 2018, Ugu gave the three-year contract to Zama. The contract was set to commence from 2019 until 2021.

Jabulani Zama who will be celebrated for his contribution to the entertainment industry, will no longer be hosting the Ugu Jazz Festival. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Speaking to Fever, CCIFSA’s Sotsu said not hosting the festival will have a severe financial impact on the district’s arts industry. “If the option is to provide water, then what about the sector which benefits from the hosting of the Ugu Jazz Festival? Is the municipality saying the sector is less important?” asked Sotsu.

He added that they are disappointed by the announcement as local artists had been preparing for the event over the past two years.`

The CCIFSA chairperson said there are local programmes that are related to the Ugu Jazz Festival which local artists have been a part of to prepare for the festival.

“We must remember that the Ugu Jazz Festival no longer includes only music, there was also the inclusion of visual arts. There was also activation of centres where local artists exhibited their work. Now in the absence of such a platform, creatives are badly impacted. Even the artists who dress the people who perform at the festival are impacted and those who design the event posters. So, if there is no jazz festival, as artists we will have to develop a better plan as to what are we going to do with the work we have done over the years in preparation for the festival,” said Sostu, adding that if there is money that was going to be channelled to the development of the festival or artists; those funds must be allocated to existing programmes that are done by local artists.

Sostu also added that they managed to get some local artists to perform at the postponed African Bike Week in August.

Meanwhile, the Durban entertainment industry will be celebrating Jabulani Zama on June 5 for his contribution to the development of the entertainment industry and careers at large.

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