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It is in reference to President Danny Faure who loves the arts, supports all endeavours in its promotion and serves as an example of an innovative Head of State himself. He does not only give directives but exemplifies whatever he believes in.

Our culture is what should make our country unique. Our culture is not only what we locally use and produce but also the beliefs and values of the Seychellois and how they live in society.
The word “culture” derives from the Latin word “colere” which means to tend to the earth and grow, or cultivation and nurture.
In Seychelles we tend to attribute culture with music, ancestral habits and beliefs, arts and cuisine. In fact, it doesn’t matter if we attribute music and arts more with culture although this is also the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people. If culture means fostering growth, then we appreciate the way our musicians and artists which include poets and authors, in particular have evolved in their arts.
Government has tried its best although there is always room for improvement to make certain that those whose career or hobbies are in the cultural sector are able to get full wind beneath their wings.
What is however needed is for artists to contribute more in helping society keep its values. It is said that it takes a village and even an entire community to raise a child. We need everybody, even in the cultural sector to help set good examples for generations to come.
We quote President Danny Faure’s 2019 State-of-the-Nation Address:
“We need to make sure that our children and our young people do not just learn in school, but that they learn in their homes and in their communities too. Appreciation and respect for human rights, respect for authority, respect for those close to them, and most importantly, self-respect. Let us recommit ourselves to ensuring our children also learn about our local traditions and heritage, which are so rich and from the foundation of our shared identity. If we fail to act, we will lose our culture.”
We appreciate and commend those already doing it. We have successful artists and musicians in Seychelles. We can name a few:
Philip Toussaint, Elijah and his brother Mercenary, Joseph Sinon alias Pa Tous Tous, Ruben, Sandra, Marie-Antoinette Dodin, Regi, Jarimba, Richie B, Dan Ally, Smash Kid, Chicco, Ion Kid, Master Emel, Jah- One, Aaron J and many more.
We also acknowledge the phenomenal achievements of the likes of David Philoe, Patrick Victor, Ralph Amesbury, Joe Samy, Jean-Marc Volcy, John Wirtz, Despilly William alias (Des), Sedwick Marengo, Essay Quatre, Jean Ally, Hudson Dorothe, Jones Camille, and many more.
Likewise, we have talented poets, fashion designers and models, sculptors and authors, as well as chefs and cooks who are real “cordon bleu”.

A colourful year
It has been a bright and colourful year for some artists who had some specific goals to achieve this year. It was a year rich in creativity, especially in fashion, visual arts, literature, and the music industry, whereby some artists got to present their creations locally. Others went to the other end of the world to display Seychellois talents, visions and originality.
First and foremost, it was an honour for this sector when President Faure appointed Patrick Victor as Honorary Cultural Ambassador. The (cultural) maestro continues to promote the Seychellois culture locally, regionally and internationally.
‘Personally it was an interesting year, whereby I experienced the artistic world in a different way. I met and discovered talented artists and impressive artwork,” said Zoe Chong-Seng, who other than being an art teacher is also a visual art artist.
Zoe and George Camille were recently in China for the 16th Asian, African and Mediterranean International Art Exhibition. For Zoe that was her first trip to Qingtian, which followed her participation in the Venice biennale, whilst for George Camille it was his second trip to China this year where he was showcasing his talents as a Seychellois artist.
Robert Alexis aimed to dedicate time working with drug addicts this year. He greatly believed that one should always give and share his gifts. Things did not go as planned, due to the reluctance of those targeted to participate in the events. He therefore focused his energy working with schoolchildren, and encouraged them to use recycled and traditional objects in their artwork.
“The year, has been an interesting one, although not all my projects have gone as planned, but whenever there has been challenges there was always other opportunities,” he said “I was happy to work on the projects to decorate Victoria for the creole festival, and for the various contributions I have done here and there to ensure that arts bring value to our culture and country,’’ he said.
Seychellois artist, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Joe Samy resurfaced this year with a new interpretation entitled ‘Oceans and Visions’, a song which he dedicated to President Danny Faure. The President had a couple of weeks earlier, from deep below the ocean’s surface made a plea for stronger protection of the beating blue heart of our planet. It was an exploit for our President as well as an exemplary piece of artwork coming from Joe. As a seasoned artist and lover of the environment, Joe is forever grateful to those who in one way or another are doing their mighty best to help save the planet. He was inspired by a speech that the President delivered from a submarine at the bottom of the ocean on that special Sunday which made top news the world over. The song was proudly sung dedicated to the exploit of the President was sung for the second time at the tourism festival.
“Whether we like it or not, the President did something unique, he spoke to the hearts of many from the bottom of the Ocean, he touched and inspired me,” Joe said. “For me it is a song which I hope will inspire the younger generation, and encourage them to learn and know more about the ocean,” he said.
New emerging artist Aaron Jean, who won his first award this year during the Arts Award, expressed his deep appreciation for being recognized this year as an artist with lots of potentials. “I have done so many things this year, I am not really sure which one of them made me shine, but when I looked at my participation in ‘Romeo and Juliette’ I think that my performance impressed many,” said Aaron.
In spite of their challenges, the Seychelles Musician Association (SEYMAS) have been very active this year. They staged and performed great shows in town during the ‘fete de la musique’. They have been playing on various Fridays outside the new museum in the vicinity of the clocktower bringing the creole spirit in the centre of Victoria.
Despite being small our capital has also welcomed many internationally acclaimed music stars in the likes of Alpha Blondy, Kenyatta Hill and Busy Signal to name a few.
Finally our own Emma Mothee is one young and talented dancer who is making great contributions in the way young children expresses themselves through dance. Through her own determination she is taking a group of them to Melbourne in Australia for a dance workshop and performance. Emma has been teaching a lot of classes mostly related with dancing at her studio in town known as Elite. It is a great achievement to be able to bring some students in Australia, the very place where she studied to be a professional dancer.
We have to congratulate the organisers of the this year’s Music Award as well as Terry Carolla and partners who, again, successfully organized the Fashion Week that got 22 designers and 60 models.
Can we bestow praises and heartfelt appreciative to everyone but leave out the organisers and participants of this year’s Creole Festival? Definitely not! Kudos to one and all.
Certainly from an artistic point of view, the year is ending on a glowingly successful note.

        

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