New book shines spotlight on creative sector

Creatives on Creating: An Antidote to Uncertainty

‘Creatives on Creating: An Antidote to Uncertainty’ is now available!

Focusing on the South African arts community, ‘Creators on Creating: An Antidote to Uncertainty’ compiled and edited by Stallone Santino, takes an innovative look at the detriment of the sector and how artists have been conducting their business in the wake of the new normal.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its pursuing national lockdown spelt trouble for the arts industry as activities came to a grinding halt. Artists who relied primarily on audiences took the biggest knock, unable to flex their creative skills like they would have prior to Covid-19. Artists across the country have been struggling to keep afloat as a result of the restrictions on indoor and outdoor activities.

Creators on Creating: An Antidote to Uncertainty is a compilation of 19 reflective essays from South African artists on the crisis and explores personal experiences and commentary on the current state of the arts.

The book, which gives voice to artists across multiple disciplines is edited and compiled by South African actor and theatre producer Stallone Santino, who developed the project as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP).

According to Stallone, the arts industry at large has been affected by the pandemic and artists and arts businesses across the country have had to make tough decisions since the lockdown had been introduced. Artists have struggled immensely, and this book brings these struggles to the surface.

“In an effort to shine a light on the industry and understand how creatives are navigating the pandemic, I decided to engage with a variety of artists directly and offer them a platform to share their stories.” said Stallone.

The contributors – acclaimed arts professionals and creators – share detailed insight into their creative process and discuss the ramifications that COVID19 has had on their work and personal lives. Together, these reflections make clear the plight of the industry and attempts to provide an antidote to the uncertainty that has plagued the creative landscape in South Africa.

The book is aimed at the public and larger arts community and is available in digital format only. To reach a wider audience, the public can access the eBook safely and conveniently online through Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Google Play Store as well as a direct download on

Stallone has in addition created a funding campaign, Cash for Creatives, that is a R1 million funding initiative that came about as a response to the current state of affairs within the South African arts community. Although the curtains are slowly lifting and the sector’s stage is starting to light up, artists are still in need of assistance with food, healthcare products and other necessities. Through this fundraising campaign, he hopes to be able to assist 100 artists with a once-off cash injection of R10 000 each.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, artists and creative professionals throughout the country have had to endure immense hardship as a result of the national lockdown. With the closure of arts venues, cancelled events and a dramatic pause in audience engagement, artists, many of whom work as freelancers, were confronted with an abrupt loss of income. This unprecedented blackout of the creative sector still carries with it a devastating effect of uncertainty, with many artists across the nation struggling to make ends meet”, he says.

The campaign appeals to the public and wider arts community to get involved as each contribution will help creatives in crisis.

For more information and to donate, visit Join the conversation on Facebook at Cash for Creatives South Africa. For corporate sponsors and large donations, email


This project is supported by the National Arts Council (NAC) and Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) and was made possible through the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) 2021.


1.            Creativity in a Time of Plague/ Steven Stead
2.            Recognising and Extending the Role of the Arts in our Society/ Rucera Seethal
3.            Home as Creative Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning Embodied Practice(s) During COVID-19/ Kamogelo Molobye
4.            In a State of Readiness/ Kyla Davis
5.            In Conversation/ Blythe Stuart Linger
6.            Artists Battling Monsters / Fred Khumalo
7.            And This Much Remained/ Refilwe Nkomo
8.            Chop Wood, Carry Water/ Kate Normington
9.            Dancing to the Tune of a Pandemic/ Lesego van Niekerk
10.          Paper Trails/ Justine Loots
11.          How Covid-19 Affected me, my Life and my Industry/ Mark Stent
12.          Will the Covid Crisis Spawn a New Generation of Actors/ Roel Twijnstra
13.          Opportunity Dances with Those Already on the Dance Floor/ Liesl Hefkie
14.          Stuck at Home Baking Bread or Making your Way back to Centre Stage/ Owen Lonzar
15.          The Maskerade/ Danica Jones
16.          Plunged in Plague/ Billy Edward
17.          In Conversation/ Yaaseen Barnes
18.          Surviving COVID-19/ Maurcie Mbikayi
19.          Breathing in and out; my New Slow Dance/ Musa Hlatswayo

The views expressed within represent the personal views of each contributor and not that of the organizations they belong to.

Gilda Van Schalkwyk
072 222 4383
Entourage Media