Artists will be treated better, says department

By Drum Digital
10 December 2014

It's time artists are treated with respect and given what they deserve- Deputy minister.

The Department of Arts and Culture has decided to take the plight of South African artists seriously. Speaking at an Imbizo for singers, actors, visual artists, poets and various legends deputy minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Thizwilondi Mabudafhasi said now is the time to act. "Many artists die poor and yet they entertain us daily and throughout their lives. As a department we will not let that continue. We are saying the time to act is now."

Minister Madudafhasi also spoke the department's disappointment with the Generations fired 16, saying that the situation must be a wake up call that artists deserve better treatment.

Her sentiments were echoed by legendary musician Abigail Khubeka who spoke of how the industry is so patronizing at times making artists wait over 90 days to be paid for a gig, even by the government. Abigail even revealed that there is a gig she did in December 2013 that she hasn't gotten paid for till today.

"How can we trust you now when we have had so many talks and yet nothing is being done?", asked actress Nambitha Mpumlwana.

Minister Madudafhasi answered the concerns aired by the artists of the department seriousness when she spoke to DRUM just after the meeting. "There have been talks in the past we understand but today we have heard the issues and we will address them. And to hold us accountable we will meet artists quarterly to review all the progress we have made and to see if there are any other areas to tweak."

She also added that she was very happy with the artists honestly and coming out to the Imbizo. "We must all work together," the minister added. The department will host a gala dinner to honor legends in the arts industry tomorrow.

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