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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“When the Ivory Coast poet Bernard B. Dadie’ writes: “Stars in profusion, pure as the eyes of Sages, will be as brilliant as the destiny of men.” this is not a description of a future occurance, but an invocation of it. The stars are to shine. The event is created in the vision. The vision is always an imperative addressed to time; the future is commanded how it is to be. For ‘time-and-space-in-one’, Hantu, constitutes a force of its own and is as such, like all forces, subject to the command of the muntu. Thus when he puts his vision even back into the past, the poet is commanding time, as if the order were already executed and irrevocably accomplished. In the alternation of future, imperfect and present, the incantation acquires its greatest force and becomes a single imperative:
Farmer strike the soil with your daba:
in the soil there…
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I have just been listening to brilliant music of the late Sisa Sopazi for the first time. It is incredible how I have always heard his name mentioned by his peers, but have never really listened to him. I was really moved by the songs Ekomani, Intlombe and the cleverly titled The Sight of Sound.
Please look for this name. He may be gone, but he will hardly be forgotten by those who had a chance to hear his sound.
One day I will write about what it felt like to listen to and view Sevdaliza’s Art/Music. For now, just enjoy