The VUKUBONE Music Conference aims to give artists, music producers, artist’s managers, and record labels in Eswatini the capacity to successfully build a sustainable music career and maximize the monetization of their craft.

By Phesheya Mkhonta

Antidote Music and Antidote Culture Foundation in partnership with the Music In Africa Foundation are hosting VUKUBONE Music Conference 2022, developed as part of the Music In Africa Live program, which is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, Siemens Stiftung, and Goethe-Institute.

VUKUBONE is a series of panel discussions and a masterclass featuring thought leaders in Eswatini’s music industry, born out of the need to shed light on the issues facing the music industry, while simultaneously exploring solutions to creating sustainable career pathways in the creative sector.

A hundred (100) artists, music producers, artists managers, and record label executives have been invited to take part in the three-day conference, commencing on the 25th to 27th of August, made up of panel discussions, masterclasses, and networking sessions with various music business professionals.

The topics to be covered range from the role of intellectual property rights in music monetization; how to empower women into leadership roles in the music industry; the challenges and opportunities for music in Eswatini; innovation in music; to mental health awareness and support in the music industry.

Explaining the rationale behind the conference, Antidote Culture Foundation co-founder and Antidote Music co-founder, Mmeli Hlanze said “In Eswatini, music and the arts at large are often seen as a hobby for those who couldn’t make it in school. However, music enhances the quality of life, comforts us in times of distress, and inspires social change, but most importantly, music is a key component in driving economic growth. VUKUBONE is our contribution towards positioning our artists and Eswatini to stake its claim in the thriving global creative economy”

The conference will be happening in two locations; Thursday (25th August) & Friday (26th August) from 10 am to 3 pm at the Theatre Club (Mbabane), and finally, on Saturday (27th August) the venue shifts to the Alliance Francaise, also in Mbabane, starting from 1 pm to 6 pm.

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