We recently celebrated businesses and arts organisations that want to make the world a better place, with the 21st Basa Awards, in partnership with Hollard. Of course, the informal bookies were out on was I going to talk about the fact that I am leaving Business and Arts South Africa (Basa), after an extraordinary decade? The answer was, and is, yes.
Over the past 10 years, Basa has grown to be a thought leader, and driver in the sector and beyond. Currently, the organisation focuses on research, growth, and skills development in the creative sector, connectivity between the private sector, the arts, and diplomatic agencies across the continent and globe, and, of course, celebration of partnerships, collaborations, and co-creativity recognising great and innovative engagement.
The programmes demonstrate a complex, energetic, and progressive practice, and what is clear is that, even as I prepare to spread my wings, I am also acknowledging the loss. I recently read an article in the New York Times, by Kimberly Lawson, that spoke of how grief is common when you leave a job you love. “For many people, what they do professionally is symbolic of other things. It`s symbolic of the things you care about. It`s symbolic of your talents. It`s symbolic of your offering to the world.”
This is significant with regards to the work I do at Basa. I care deeply about the work of this organisation. Basa is a rare animal: I don`t see a public-private partnership of this nature easily forming now. It was forged during a real window of opportunity soon after the first democratic election in South Africa and was a visionary engagement between the private sector and the then Department of Arts and Culture.
This is an organisation where you are negotiating with the government, with individual corporations, and the arts sector: each time a different hat; each time a common goal. The work we do is important not just in the country, but on the continent.
I am proud to have been a member of the Basa team over the past decade. My 10 years have allowed me the full breadth of the experience that is Basa and all its stakeholders, partners, and beneficiaries. It has made my world a better place, and certainly society a better place as well.
Michelle Constant is the presenter of SAFM 104-107`s Weekend JetsetBreakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, 7am to 10am. She is the outgoing CEO of Basa, and a non- executive board member of SA Tourism
Publication: Business Day Wanted
Publication Date: 01 Oct 2018