Clegg backs art business scholarship

Business Day Live | David Furlonger:


South African musician Johnny Clegg has lent his name to a Master of Business Administration (MBA) scholarship aimed at professionalising the local music and creative industries.

Johannesburg-based Henley Business School will launch an MBA degree aimed squarely at the industries next month.

Johnny Clegg has lent his name to a business school MBA scholarship intended to professionalise the local music and creative industries. Picture: Eugene Coetzee

Dean Jon Foster-Pedley said on Monday that creative industries could make an important contribution to the country’s economic growth but they needed specific business skills. The Henley MBA is intended to “offer creative workers and arts practitioners a tailor-made business qualification that addresses the unique scenario that the creative industries present”.

The Johnny Clegg Scholarship will cover one student for the R220,000 cost of the part-time MBA programme, which will start next month and last for 30 months.

Prof Foster-Pedley said the school would probably offer a second scholarship next year. He said Mr Clegg would help to select the successful candidate but would have no active part in the programme. “We selected him because he is an icon, a figurehead of South African music and arts. We wanted someone who would act as a guiding light.”

Mr Clegg said: “As an artist, I had to learn about the business side of music through trial and error.

“In many respects, I was self-taught. To date, very little has been offered by academia to address how our work in the arts is structured.”

The programme is not targeted specifically at the arts, but at any sector driven by creativity. In theory, that could include advertising or architecture.

Prof Foster-Pedley said anyone applying for the programme or scholarship needed to meet standard MBA criteria, including business experience and an honours degree or equivalent.

As well as specialist creative industry education, he said much of the programme would include general business skills adapted for creative industries. However, because South Africa’s tertiary education rules discouraged specialist MBAs, he said, the eventual qualification would be a general MBA. The music and creative component would make up 25%-30% of total study time.

The development of the Nigerian film industry was an indicator of the growing importance of creative industries, he said. Nollywood, as it is known, is worth $800m annually and employs more than 1-million people, making it Nigeria’s second-biggest employer, after agriculture.


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