A letter to the government of South Africa
Re: Government interference in arts
We seem to be having a problem with government officials thinking that they form part and parcel of the entertainment industry. For the record, you are not in the entertainment industry, we have put you in office to manage the affairs of the country. This does not include you usurping industry events and making boring speeches.
Let me start by saying, the people in the industry are trained and experienced performers. You coming onto our stages, is as arrogant as us walking into your offices, getting into your computers and doing your job with you. We have taken speech&drama classes, we have studied performance. It is not something that JUST happens. Being an entertainer is a SKILL. What you are currently doing is bastardising the quality of our shows and productions.
You get on stage and you are inexperienced and you kill the flow of the energy of the show.
We understand that being on stage/tv is exciting and feeds into the ego which is why you are so hungry for it. But honestly guys…..this is not your strength. Let the entertainers do their job in peace.
The fact that you fund these events does not mean you are entitled to absolute control of these events. Might I add that the money you are funding these events with, does not belong to you. That money is from taxes from the people of this country. So essentially, artists are paid by the people. You are just the agents we have employed to ensure that this money is distributed fairly to the different industries. It is not your money, it is not you show…..your show begins and ends with the governance of this country.
Your branding is EVERYWHERE at these gigs. That is enough. Please….stop forcing yourselves onto stages. You are not good at it.
It worries us as the people when the government is more interested in Red Carpet events than service delivery. We know your outfits for the SONA but we don’t even know what you DO. Please, leave the Red Carpet and Celebrity stunts to the entertainers. Your main focus should be how to get South Africa to be a better place to live in for ALL. (Not just for you)
Any form of art should be respected. Art is for the people who are gifted creatively. If you wish to pursue a career in the arts, by all means do so….but do not disrespect our stages by getting on them unrehearsed. Some of us have spent decades rehearsing on these stages, stop with the one night stands. You look pathetic, then you make our whole show look pathetic which makes our industry look pathetic….
It is no wonder that promoters book overseas artists because with our shows looking so amateur…who would wanna book that? Stop turning major musical events into Open Mic Sessions. My dear government, you are out of place.
Nobody is telling you how silly you look because they need your tenders. But from me, sister to government I say…..Stop The Insanity and Respect our Artists. You can speak at your political rallies and imbizos…..but please……leave our industry alone.
We need your support in funding….we don’t need your help on stage.
Stop undermining our talents and disrespecting our offices.
A South African Artist