Recently, a group of upcoming artists had the pleasure to learn from and work with one of Ghana’s leading entertainers and entrepreneurs – Micheal Owusu Addo, popularly known as Sarkodie.
This happened during the Sarkcess Writing camp – a unique gathering of Africa’s top and emerging creative artistes. The camp was curated for the purpose of inspiring and sharing creativity in writing.
The tangible outcomes of the camp include a number of songs set to be released from the myriad of collaborations that took place during the sessions. As is the nature of Sarkodie’s artistry, these songs will undoubtedly touch on aspects of African society and the role of the youth in creating change and positive impact.
The intangible outcomes included a sense of confidence built into the participants; and more importantly the heightened interest of women in the creative arts due to the level of participation that realised.
This could be the eye opener that leads to more women focused camps or a drive for women inclusion in such collaborations. Overall, the linkage lies with Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – which speaks to Gender Equality.
Additionally, the camp included discussions that highlighted entrepreneurship and financial Literacy and Management in music artistry. These skills are key to creating viable sources of revenue for African artists in alignment with Decent work and Economic growth for all – Goal 8 of the SDGs.
The influence, passion and drive of Sarkodie as a giant in African music is undisputed. His ability to bring these creative minds from different parts of Africa together, while staggering in itself, also indicates the need for a long-term vision for the creative industry and the role it plays in the wider African narrative of economic and social development.
Here-in lies an unharnessed opportunity for policy makers, businesses, government bodies such as tourism boards and not-for-profit organisations to ride on the voice of the creative sector to achieve lasting impact.
The Sarkcess writing camp is just an example of platforms that can be used to achieve this. The buzz generated from this collaborative engagement has heightened anticipation by fans and music lovers alike. The songs born out of the writing camp can serve to influence generations and lift several emerging artists from a place of obscurity onto global heights.
Organisers of the camp, The Sarkcess Foundation and partners, confirm that plans are already underway for further engagement with the creative industry to support empowerment and optimisation of creative arts in Africa.