Vatiswa Ndara’s open letter to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture https://www.iol.co.za/entertainment/tv/local/vatiswa-ndaras-open-letter-to-nathi-mthethwa-stop-exploiting-actors-34292050 was long overdue. Set aside the specifics of the actor’s beef with Ferguson Films, and the general picture she describes resonates across all the creative industries, including music.
No doubt some fresh idiot at the next funeral will repeat the question, “Why do artists die in poverty?” (The person to whom she addressed her letter is very fond of asking it.) The answer is twofold.
First, artists are part of the people, and most South Africans still live and die in poverty. That’s a much bigger discussion, and one we have postponed for far too long.
Second, artists are also workers, and the labour, contract, and conditions of production issues Ndara raised make the situation even worse.
People outside the industry are often fooled by headlines on the showbiz pages about an artist’s fee for…
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