11 September 2015
At the opening of the 12th Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition at the SABC, Auckland Park on Thursday 10 September 2015, venue hosts SABC and Moshito partners the Department of Arts and Culture assured delegates of their continuing support in helping initiatives like Moshito in developing and curating South African music.
— #Moshito2015 (@moshito_music) September 9, 2015
Moshito Music Conference chairperson Sipho Sithole welcomed guests, delegates and visitors to the conference, saying that the Moshito ideal was to make the event a “premier destination for music makers and the music business” not only for Africa, but for the world. This year the conference has invited music business representatives and musicians from as far as China, Brazil and Jamaica to share and exchange ideas on how to strengthen the business as a viable commodity in the digital age.
Sithole said that in the 12 years the conference had been running, Moshito has achieved a reputation as being the “most admired local event for music business engagement”, and that the three-year relationship the conference has built with the Department of Arts and Culture has only strengthened that credibility.
In explaining this year’s conference theme, “From Kwela to Hop”, Sithole said Moshito wants to highlight the respect paid to South African music of the past, and how that respect informs and guides the music of the present and future. “South Africa,” he said, “wants to be known for a variety of genres: this variety defines who we are as a country.” But the conference, he said, pointing to the selection of musical showcases and collaborations with international artists to be held during the event, was not just about talking about music, but also an opportunity to feel, see and hear the power of South African music.
In some words of support for the conference, SABC Group CEO Frans Matlala welcomed Moshito to the SABC venue, calling the event a pivotal instrument in promoting music across Africa, saying it was “fundamental in preserving South African culture.” He requested that Moshito do its part in telling the South African story to the world. Matlala hoped, as the success of Moshito grew, that the power of music would bring the rest of the world back to Africa. Matlala was confident this year’s event would be the best one yet, pledging that Moshito would always have a home at the SABC.
SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng reiterated that commitment, praising Moshito for “doing well to stand by local artists.” He did, however, urge the music business in general to find a way to bring the various organisations that dealt with finances and support systems of the music industry under one umbrella organisation to insure a holistic philosophy to deal with the challenges of the industry. One of those challenges is the payment of music royalties to songwriters and artists, and Motsoeneng announced that after long negotiations with the industry, the SABC would commit to paying outstanding royalties to the sum of R100 million to local artists.
“We want to make sure the money reaches the right people,” he said. Motsoeneng welcomed Moshito and its visitors to the SABC, saying the event’s philosophy “reminds us of where we come from, as well as where we, as a nation, are going.” The SABC is committed to adding more of that history, the legacy and the works of some of the country’s greatest music artists past and present, to all radio and television programming.
Motsoeneng concluded by urging all music lovers to be active in that curation of culture by paying TV licences, the money from which goes back into promoting that culture to more South African, the African continent and the rest of the world.
Representing the Minister of Arts and Culture, Deputy Director General of the department Monica Newton praised Moshito for changing the cultural landscape of the country over its 12 year existence. “It gives me a warm feeling in my heart that events like this do so much for nation building,” Newton said, adding that the Moshito organisation did well with dealing with the trials and tribulations of the music industry on behalf of the artists and music lovers in general, highlighting the challenges faced by the industry like piracy and technology changes. Newton added that it was important to create a living heritage of the arts in South Africa, respecting and honouring the legends of the past, using the lessons learnt from that to help guide and grow local musical culture into the future.
“Music,” Newton said, “was a canary in a coalmine for society, a way to measure and negotiate the cultural landscape,” adding that the department’s partnership with Moshito was a pleasure and privilege to be part of. Newton concluded in wishing the event success and hoped it would become the foremost collaborator with both local artists and in its growing international friendships, “the people of Moshito have done a lot of hard work in strengthening the music business, and we wish them well for the future.”
— #Moshito2015 (@moshito_music) September 10, 2015
The Moshito Conference and Exhibition includes discussions on various aspects of the music industry in both local and international contexts, as well as looking at trends and changes that touch both the business and artistic development. Seminars include music branding, archiving of musical legacy, changes in digital musical technology, song writing and exploring new markets for music.
In between the seminars, visitors and delegates will be entertained by various public performances at the exhibition at the SABC’s Radio Park venue, as well as at some of Johannesburg’s legendary music venues.
The conference will culminate with a special concert titled “The Great South African Song Book” on Saturday, 12 September at Newtown Park featuring an all- star collection of some of South Africa’s best music artists, including Arthur, Judith Sephuma, Mzwakhe Mbuli and Cortina Whiplash.