Let us start at beginning. Welcome to 2022 as this is CITYLIFE/ARTS’ first edition for 2022. We once more promise to give you the reader, the best of arts content this year just like we did in the rather unpredictable 2021. This is our social contract between us and you. You can be assured that you will read the best of the best in the arts- that content that is engaging on visual art, theatre, literature and so forth and so on.
Now that we have dispensed with that, let us go to the crux of the matter. The year 2021, was rather difficult for everyone. Right? What with the creative sector toy toying for what is rightly theirs as they confronted both the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as well as its funding agencies, particularly the National Arts Council because they were dissatisfied with the services they got. The Presidential Economic Stimulus Package (PESP) as chaotically mismanaged by the NAC is a case in point, among other unsatisfactory conduct by those whose responsibility is to look after the creative sector.
And indeed these experiences were painful for the creative sector. But as we start a new year we would like to suggest something different and possibly positive and uplifting to the human spirit as we start afresh.
You see I am a keen observer of things around me, especially advertising signs around the city. On that note, I recently observed a sign outside a popular, intimate coffee shop on 4th Avenue in Melville. The coffee shop in question called Tilt is so small that it only accommodates three tables inside and two others on the pavement. It is actually attached to a house and is in fact an out building of the main house, a sort of a spaza shop, the type that dot mostly the townships. But this one is so well decorated that it is inviting, especially its interior décor. It is so inviting to the extent that I have had so many cups of coffee ever since it emerged from the 2020 lockdown. It must be one of the business opportunities that emerged as a result of the lockdown as cash-strapped South Africans look for opportunities outside the traditional areas of business opportunity.
But besides the décor, what also invites customers to TILT Coffee Shop is the advertising messaging, strategically placed outside it by its owners. They are so funny you simply cannot just pass them without noticing. Of course the owners of this tiny but intimate coffee shop want to get you to buy coffee, and indeed they are so humorous that you sooner than later find yourself ordering coffee there once you have read them.
The one that really worked for me recently is this one: “In 2022, please be gentle.”
And therefore please in 2022 let us be gentle with each other.