Press Release: The iKAPA2theWORLD Festival is supporting disenfranchised artists and creatives in Cape Town
Presented by ARTS Entertainment, iKAPA2theWORLD is an art and music event that takes place every two months, consisting of musical performances and DJ sets from upcoming artists from Cape Town, stall activations from various youth-centred businesses, an interactive games area, and entrepreneurship workshops that focus on basic and advanced approaches of artist and entrepreneurial development. The first event is on December 17 and will be headlined by Holy Alpha, Trusted SLK, Bhut Legend and Kila G. blunt caught up with festival organiser Masedi Mathe, a.k.a. BLVK IRIS to find out more.
Interview by bluntEd. Photos courtesy iKAPA2theWORLD.
The person behind the idea of iKAPA2theWORLD is me – Masedi Mathe. The idea came about from the desire to create our own systems and our own industry as a city (Cape Town), but I quickly realized that in order to do that, we need to educate creatives on how these systems work and most importantly, to make people believe in themselves enough and thereby in the ideology that we are able to take our city’s talent to the world stage – as the name itself ‘iKAPA2theWORLD’ intends.
What need is the event fulfilling in the music and creative community?
Cape Town falls short on inclusivity and opportunities in the city’s entertainment industry due to underinvestment and inadequate support structures in place to create projects that expand the market. As a result of the elitism and exclusivity in the industry, there is a lack of events that benefit and sustain comfortably for all instead of the few. Our mission as A.R.T.S Entertainment through this event and other initiatives is to promote artist mobility. We do this by providing disenfranchised artists and creatives from Cape Town with equitable access to support and resources in order to promote exchange to open new opportunities and reach wider audiences, and additionally provide education designed to help them thrive in the industry by equipping them with the necessary business skill and mindset to grow their brand and scale their careers.
What is the main objective of the event and initiative?
The objective of the event can be broken down into three pillars, that we’ve also identified as the slogan of the event: Educate. Elevate. Inspire. The Education element will be through entrepreneurship workshops that focus on basic and advanced approaches of artist and entrepreneurial development. This will in turn foster constructive partnerships with industry players for the artists to ensure the implementation of mechanisms to nurture and develop the city’s industry by delivering outputs such as the development of skills and improving access and participation. This educational element then filters into the second pillar of elevating our existing and emerging local talent strategically with the inclusion of the education element as in turn will make them self-sustainable and able to scale their careers.
How do you aim to side step the industry’s elite system?
‘iKapa’ means ‘Cape Town’ in isiXhosa. The Nguni translation of the name of the city signifies our recognition of the artists from underserved communities, whilst also standing as an upliftment to take the city’s art to the world. The aim of this ideology is to bring together the creative and innovative minds of the youth from township communities and beyond, and to inspire them to expand their creativity without restriction – unafraid and uninhibited. We are side stepping the industry’s elite system by partnering with brands who align with our aim to design events and experiences in the creative industry that are educational, thought-provoking, culturally inclusive, and create a galvanized value-based experience for artists and consumers.
“Cape Town falls short on inclusivity and opportunities in the city’s entertainment industry due to underinvestment and inadequate support structures in place to create projects that expand the market. As a result of the elitism and exclusivity in the industry, there is a lack of events that benefit and sustain comfortably for all instead of the few. ”
How does it bring together creative and innovative ideas? Are there related workshops and training provided?
In our partnership with our sponsor Cape Town Gin, the event campaign is ‘Spirit of the Cape, Made for the World’. The Spirit of the Cape campaign will run as an on-the-day interactive campaign with a cocktail bar by Cape Town Gin featuring patrons shooting content in front of a Cape Town Gin wall banner. The lead caption for this content is ‘Spirit of the streets of …. to the world’ where patrons fill in the blank stating what town they’re from in Cape Town, followed by a #SpiritoftheCape. This is a means to say that the Spirit of Cape Town is independent and uninhibited no matter what township or area of Cape Town they’re from – they’re always willing and able to take their creativity to the World.
What else can we expect?
In partnership with Caya Creatives and Couch Creatives, there will be an on-the-day ‘iKAPA2theWORLD Edition’ of their shows with a demarcated interview area where the host of the show will interview artists before and after their performances, host a freestyle competition around the caption ‘iKAPA2theWORLD’, interview the patrons around what they think Cape Town can do better to push its artists and creative entrepreneurs. There will also be an ‘iKAPACan’ campaign that will feature the MC interacting with audience members by scanning the attendees’ QR codes for questions about the brands and businesses at the event, what they learnt today and what about the iKAPA showcase has inspired them that their creative ideas can be achieved. There will be workshops by Caya Creative and Berry Exchange to educate artists and creatives alike on means to access resources and support to develop their brand and careers.
“Art and creativity has so many facets including sports like skateboarding, basketball and dance so that is definitely in my future plans for 2023. I want to make iKAPA2theWORLD is an event that takes place every two months and each occasion has a completely different experience than the other. To have it be educational and thought provoking.”
How can artists become involved, is there some kind of application and qualifying process to benefit from the initiative?
We carefully select artists by looking at the stage they are in their careers and how we think they can scale themselves to a higher level by being a part of the initiative. We do our utmost best to stay away from selecting the same old same old artists that are always given priority at other incubator or premium events. Our goals is to give everyone we think is really dope a chance to strut their stuff and is also willing to learn from industry players who want to see them succeed.
Is it only Cape-based or do you plan to roll it out across the rest of South Africa?
For now, I’m only focusing on uplifting my city with this initiative in particular as the event’s name itself is focused on Cape Town. The music and event industry in general in South Africa view Cape Town’s artists and events as largely ad hoc, not driven by a strategic path or vision with very poor investment levels and last-minute piecemeal implementation. We aim to change that by developing initiatives and events that develop infrastructure and skills that deliver community engagement, improved access, participation and capacity growth for the city’s creatives and its industry.
What future plans do you have for Ikapa 2 The World? Do you plan to include creative street sports like skateboarding etc, which are getting big in SA and have a massive crossover following?
Definitely! Art and creativity has so many facets including sports like skateboarding, basketball and dance so that is definitely in my future plans for 2023. I want to make iKAPA2theWORLD is an event that takes place every two months and each occasion has a completely different experience than the other. To have it be educational and thought provoking so that each time, people take away something different from the event and have a value-based experience.
Anyone to thank or any final words?
I’d like to thank our sponsor and brand partner Cape Town Gin for being the first to believe in us, what we stand for and what we aim to achieve with this initiative. I’d also like to thank all our media partners – Radio Eersteriver, Cape Town TV, Lifestyle Series, Cape Town Radio, Cape Town Scene, Shipping Culture, Caya Creative, Nate Art, Couch Creatives, and all other blogs and media outlets like blunt magazine, Tribe Sound Radio and Raw Media 75 who genuinely support our vision and all pulling all stops to help us promote the event and let people know what we’re trying to achieve. I thank you all – your support means the world to us and we cannot wait to see how we can collaborate again in future to Cape Town art to the world stage.
How can people get involved? Sponsors or people wishing to give back to the creative community somehow?
We are open to partnering with brands or persons who believe in the iKAPA2theWORLD vision and align with its values. To become apart of it, they can just simply contact me as the Event Director via email or telephone in order to set up a meeting and discuss how we can collaborate in a manner that brings mutual benefit for them as partners and also for the artists and creatives.
My contact details are as follows:
Cell: 084 497 0070
Early Bird Tickets are still on sale for R80, you can cop them at Webtickets or at any Pick n’ Pay outlet.
Physical tickets are also on sale through our promoters or at selected iKAPA2theWORLD brand activations.