Connie Chiume gets candid about the 'cruel' entertainment industry

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Connie Chiume.
Connie Chiume.
Gallo/Oupa Bopape
  • Connie Chiume says the entertainment industry is 'cruel' to freelancers. 
  • She said this during a recent interview with Macgyver Mukwevho and Sol Phenduka. 
  • The Gomora actor said she was also saddened by a video, wherein legendary actor Vusi Thanda pleads for financial assistance. 

Award-winning actor Connie Chiume relayed the alleged cruelty people in the entertainment industry faced as she spoke about how saddened she was about the plight which befell veteran actor Vusi Thanda

Chiume spoke about this in an interview with Macgyver Mukwevho and Sol Phenduka on Mukwevho's YouTube podcast, PodcastWithMacG. Mukwevho asked her what she thought about a video of Thanda pleading for financial assistance.   

"That made me very sad," she said in the interview. "Our industry is so cruel; it's so cruel." 

She added: 

We are freelancers, and you are a freelancer for the rest of your life, and, unfortunately, even our government – where we pay 25% tax – still doesn't classify us as workers, which means you can't claim UIF [unemployment insurance fund]. We are being used.

The Gomora actor added that she often disputed people's misconception about creatives being unable to budget. 

"If I am working today, even for the whole year for that matter, and then the following year I'm not working for six months, how far would I be able to stretch that money? How far will I be able to stretch it?" 

Chiume further said that when she found herself without employment, she could survive because of the other things she did. She said she did voiceovers and inspirational talks and had an events management company. 

"Vusi's story really hurt me," she said in the interview. "I actually took that video, and I sent it somewhere hoping that the powers that be – because it's so embarrassing and so hurting – will hear him and probably come up with something they can do." 

The former defunct Rhythm City actor said another problem in their industry was that they did not have a union where "somebody can speak on our behalf" so they could see their rights being enforced and taken care of.


"In South Africa, we don't even have a union. We don't have a union where somebody can speak on our behalf so that, at least, we can see our rights happening," she said. "Can you imagine how many jobs Vusi has done in his life? If he was to get royalties from all of those jobs, at least, he would be able to get by."

"If he was in another country, he would be a millionaire, a multi-millionaire. It's a shame; it's a spit in the face as South Africans to see what's happening to Vusi." 

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