Thursday, May 26, 2011

CT Buskers on the move

I need to provide some feedback re CT buskers. I really am so dissapointed that CT with such a creative and vibrant spirit doesnt have a single busker on the street on any given day. Why is this? When you go to any major city and i have been to many there is amazing talent on show day and night on the streets. So I asked my friend Palesa to help me set up CT Buskers so that we can find that great talent and showcase it on the streets of cape Town. We spent the morning first with a map of cape Town identifying hundreds of spots where buskers could play. This was the easy part. We then went to the city offices in St Georges mall looking for the permits. Now i have been down this path before with the stick fighting company and Vuyisile did get a scrap of paper that serves as a permit. We went to the same offices and received the same scrap of paper and it seems that the City really makes it hard for buskers. So in order to get permits we may as well photostat 50 copies and just hand them out as this is all the city does anyway. However they can only busk for around 2 hours a day and in quite a limited space of the city. Not exactly that user friendly for a busker system. So I called the city and have still not receieved any clarification on how we go about getting busking permits for other parts of the city. Sounds normal for the city.
Palesa and i will use the current space available to us and identify 50 spots to start CT Buskers. We will sell each spot for R1,000 per month and we will provide 50% to the buskers every month. So if there are people who want to sponsor a spot and a talented busker give me a call. Right now we are preparing for auditions and then we will mark out the actual spots. We will launch the first buskers under the CT Buskers label at the end of the month. We have some great audition judges and the competition will be stiff to get in as we want great acts and great talent. I spoke to palesa and said that a great entrepreneurship lesson is when there is an obstacle is good as few overcome these obstacles. Those who do overcome will become succesful. CT Buskers wants busking to be an accesible art form and CT city should support us because they claim to be creative and open. Lets see. Anyhow i also though we need a "speakers corner" like the one in Hyde park London. Where people can come and speak and argue about anything they choose and to foster tolerance through dialogue even if you hate what other people are saying. This should really turn heads in a city that is regarded as fractured by race and class. I will provide more updates on all the initiatives that have ben started but let me finish by saying the Minister of Sport will be seeing The Stick Fighting Company next week and we have also been invited to France to showcase what we do....awesome!

Monday, May 16, 2011

new ideas everywhere

sometimes the newspapers throw out so much good stuff. Its like in the air when the energy is right for new ideas. I cant explain it , but sometimes new ideas just flow and inspire.

Here are a few that jumped at me this weekend.

1. many people in shacks lose so much in the form of documents, photos etc that i figured why not design a small firebox just for docs that in the case of fire all docs would be saved and save people huge stress and expense at the same time. after this product you can have a clothes firebox as well.

2. The party of one! Since the elections are on us again and i hate elections and politics i saw that it only costs R500 to register a politicakl party and a few thousand to stand in national elections. My idea is to start a company ( not a party) and organise thousands of independents who would stand on their own. They can all have their own philosophies and ideas and must be as objective as possible. Once these people stand and get elected they will be monitored by the company. The public votes for the calibre of the person not the party and what they deliver in the form of a service which the party of one will monitor.

3. The spat between business , gov and unions about labour laws is so biased and out of control i sometimes think people have lost objectivity. My idea is to hold a reality TV program where one company has no labour law at all ( this will be a new company for experimental purposes) and another existing company can have every labour law in the over 6 months and see what happens? I would love to see the outcome and put some of the crap to rest whoever is deemed correct/

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A golden rule for entrepreneurs...dont preempt anything

One of my golden lessons in life is not to pre-empt too much as you really never know what will happen next. Its like nature i suppose where a flood may make the river different or a drought may change the river and its inhabitants forever. I am always amazed when there is a massive storm how the beach changes shape. You cant plan for these things and nature never does. So why are people so anal about planning out their whole business or project before its started. Let me give you an example because my project manager at the lavender project asked. I went to the nursery and saw the cuttings process going on. All the kids and many adults were totally engrossed in the process of what is a cutting, how do you take a cutting and how do you plant one. I watched the process over and over and realised that ( lightbulb moment) thats what the lavender project is all about. Its about the cuttings. People give cuttings for free, even farmers have. The process of giving is beautifull and inspiring. Others plant the cuttings and grow little things into big things. A truly delicate and beautifull process. I realised that the project should be called CUTTINGS. teach, inspire, and cut everything that can be cut to grow even more things and inspire more people etc etc. Can you see the growth process...its almost like facebook. So the project will be called CUTTINGS and each new community may have a new brand of product like geraniums or sour figs etc...whatever suits them. Who knows where all of this will lead to but i see the movement and i see the energy and thats all that counts for me.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

CT Busker next steps

My usual model is to get a young dynamic project manager and i have one for the CT buskers program. She will start the following:

1. Set up a venue for auditions
2. publicity for auditions
3. judges for auditions
4. busking spots and busking licences

My vision is to see awesome buskers at awesome dedicated spots 24 hours a day to make the city of CT a vibrant and awesome place to walk around.

Yesterday I met up with my buddy Bart who started a program called APOPO which uses rats to detect land mines and TB...awesome stuff. He is so stuck with buraucracy that he cant see his arse from his elbow anymore and instead of being a social artist and designing even more awesome stuff he is faced with becoming a mixture between a mine specialist and a TB specialist. I said to him. Dude take the rats and create art installations ( and i have seen this with my opwn 2 eyes) of the rats doing their business ie: finding mines and detecting TB/// you have to see this stuff to beleive is mindblowing. My point is the real work is to change the perception of rats in people's minds by showing how awesome they are, and then they will raise millions of dollars in funding rather than asking for funding from the WHO who doesnt really like them and is a skeptic. Imagine that rats come to CT. The media and the public will flock to see them in action and pay and then support them. Looks like Bart who is a social artist may just take this concept to the museums and cities of the world. I really hope he does. My point is that he is not having fun and they are moving so slowly that it is difficult to see progress. Art is about opeing up people's minds and the rest will flow. Bart is also that type of person...a starter...a spark and the sooner he realises this the better...or his spark will die. Who are you?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Black entrepreneurs need to find models that dont cost the earth

from my experience with the stick fighting company the city actually charges no fees to be a busker and the whole industry is very higgeltypiggeldy, meaning unstructured. CT buskers aims to change this and becoming a viable business. My friend Kerry said she's in ( a music promotor, agent, and talent afficionado), i have a great project manager to drive the project as well whom i will introduce later. I have been reading alot about how young black entrepreneurs find it so difficult to finance their start up businesses in the newspapers. However if i look at CT buskers these are the actual costs:

Cost of finding busker spots in the city: FREE

Cost of auditioning buskers: FREE (i will get a venue donated or pay for a community hall at R12 per hour!)

Cost of buskers licences for 1 year: FREE

Cost of publicity: FREE ( because its such a damn good idea that works)

Total cost: 0 ( but it will require some help from friends, time and sweat)

The business model will be to get sponsors at various sites in the city ( 50 spots @ R3600 per annum [ R 180,000]), buskers keep all their own cash they make, buskers get representation and sign with CT buskers for agent fees, a reality TV show, and growth towards JHB Buskers, Durbs Buskers etc.

The lesson is really that young black entrepreneurs need to make sure they can start businesses that require very little capital, not businesses that require loads of cash. This seems to be the opposite way of thinking but it focuses on innovation and simplicity rather than small business development. Young guns need to understand this to get the most out of their energies

Monday, May 2, 2011

CT Buskers

Its time for a new idea and i have to thank a number of people for this one. My students at RAA, New York City and London. While in New York City I saw or heard the most amazing buskers (or people who play on the streets for money) all across the underground or subway. And i mean amazing. There is a story that was told to me that the most famous violinist in the world once played on the subway and people just saw him as another busker albeit a great one. This is the type of excitement and surprise that can deal you one hellava blow on a daily basis on the subway. the same is true in London. Our city has buskers as well but they are of the "usual" kind. Oh by the way Justin Bieber was a busker before he made it big. So Cape Town has young groups of kids singing or dancing and a few marimba bands. But what type of talent is lying out there actually. Singers, dancers, musicians and acts. In New York and London buskers have to auditon and only the best get licences for 12 months and then they audition again. This allows only the best to get the licences and it allows talent spotters the best as well. For the acts it means they have achieved something and they become part of a group of acts that are deemed good enough to be on the streets and for public consumption. I will be launching CT Buskers in the following way. I will set up auditions and publicise through radio and facebook. At these auditions we will look for the best buskers in CT. I will pay for their licences so they can play on the streets. I will set up specific hotspots for them to play at marked with a CT Buskers sign and this will be a first come first service option. I will help this talent get recognised by promoting them and i will try for a reality TV program called CT will certainly have an internet presence. Hopefully CT Buskers can represent this talent after exposing them and the city will buy into the project as well as sponsors. The auditions will be soon so watch this space. My business idea for may is CT Buskers.