South Africa's favourite maize meal brand, White Star, has launched a brand new campaign to celebrate and support local musicians. The aim of the campaign, called 'Keep Shining', is to shine the spotlight on local musicians and celebrate the contributions they’ve made to keep the local music industry alive. It is the latest initiative to be developed under the banner of Shay’na NgeWhite Star (Shine with White Star), the popular music showcase and annual support programme launched back in 2020.
Hit by the harsh realities over the past few years, support for local music has lamentably dwindled and, in the past three years, the music industry experienced an additional blow of constrained economic conditions, which have hit consumers hard and have had a knock-on effect on musicians already struggling to make a living.
The harsh reality is that less and less local music is being played or aired publicly and, as importantly, streaming services are delivering only sparse earnings for the local music industry.
Ten years ago, 50% of all music being played publicly, whether on radio, television, via streaming services or in pubs and restaurants, was local. Since then, it has dropped to a mere 25%. Musicians are also reporting meagre earnings from online streaming services. While streaming was seen as a potential source of revenue during the pandemic, the fact is that streaming favours the platforms over the musicians in terms of revenue. This is further complicated by the fact that genres at the periphery of popular international music are the hardest hit.
A long-time supporter of musicians and the music industry, White Star has launched Keep Shining to help counterbalance this situation and also to encourage locals to support the incredible talent we have right here in Mzansi.
“The aim of the campaign is to ensure that artists can shine brighter than ever before,” says Mokhele Makhothi, White Star’s marketing manager. “We want to help them showcase their talent at home and abroad – and to get the recognition they deserve – by providing practical advice and resources to support their success. We want to garner more support for them and to help them unleash that South African spirit of ubuntu by celebrating each other. ”
Makhothi says that each and every South African also has a vital role to play in supporting and reinvigorating the industry, which they can do by purchasing, downloading and streaming more local music and also by urging local radio and television stations to feature more homegrown content.
In support of this, White Star has partnered with Radio 2000 to deliver 'Keep Shining' to a countrywide audience.
For 12 weeks, starting from Friday, 19 May 2023, listeners will be able to tune into special editions of Paul Mnisi’s show, The Drive Connection, on Radio 2000 every Friday between 4pm and 5pm. Paul will showcase the music of some of Mzansi artists while having rich and engaging career conversations with guest artists. Among many of the legends and rising stars to be featured and celebrated each week on the show are Langa Mavuso, Ncebakazi and Simphiwe Dana who will be sharing their stories and will speak about some of the successes and challenges they’ve experienced in their careers.
“Music has always been vital to our culture and identity as South Africans,” says Makhothi. “Now, more than ever, we need to pull together and support the people whose music enlivens our lives every single day. At White Star we believe that living your best life involves bringing together good food, good people and, of course, good music. And, after all, what would a celebration be without music? What would that tedious drive home in peak-hour traffic be without the sounds that lift our spirits and lighten our hearts?
“Let’s celebrate and support the people who bring the beat into our lives so that they – and we – can Keep Shining!”