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Thapong’s Desperate SOS

Thapong’s Desperate SOS
PLEADING FOR HELP: Reginald Bakwena

Center launches ‘Sponsor an Artist’ campaign

As Covid-19 shows no signs of easing its tight grip on the Arts and Culture sector, disabled for exactly a year now, one of the industry’s oldest organisations, Thapong Virtual Arts Centre is on its knees.

The center has sent out a desperate SOS to the public.

With the world still trying to figure out Covid-19, the once-proud body has been reduced to getting out the ‘beggar’s bowl’ in a desperate bid to assist members used to make a living from selling art.

In a fresh initiative launched this week, the centre announced its ‘Sponsor an Artist’ campaign, a frantic appeal to the public and business community to donate to their members.

Led by Reginald Bakwena, the campaign asks for donations ranging from, “Food parcels, financial assistance, commissioning of artists to do work, art materials, purchase of artworks, or anything you may consider worthy of assistance.”

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Speaking to Voice Entertainment, Bakwena further outlined, “The outbreak of the Covid-19 has negatively affected Thapong Virtual Arts Center and its artist due to its harsh protocols implemented to control and contain the spread of the virus.”

Bakwena continued, “Due to this, artists are unable to make a living from art therefore Thapong is running a campaign appealing to businesses and individuals to lend a helping to artists. Most of them come to us to tell us that they can no longer afford rent or even food.

In the second lockdown, we received assistance from Mr. Healy [Gaborne Central MP Tumisang Helay] with about 15 food parcels which is a very commendable initiative.”

The Thapong Virtual Arts centre has roughly 1, 500 registered members and provides artists with a place where they host exhibitions and sell their work. The centre offers artists studios, training workshops as well as marketing space.

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