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Nelson Mandela Bay artists threaten to boycott local events

By Afikile Lugunya - May 24, 2017
Nelson Mandela Bay artists threaten to boycott local events

Disgruntled artists from the Nelson Mandela Bay area, under the banner of Arts for Economic Growth, on Wednesday marched from the Donkin Reserve in Central, Port Elizabeth, down to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's offices at City Hall where they handed over a memorandum of demands to municipal representatives.

According to the artists, they feel neglected and marginalised by the local leadership resulting in the local arts industry performing poorly when compared with other provinces.

Khumbulani Qekema, an upcoming gspel music singer, told RNEWS that they are tired of being undermined by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and now they were taking a stand.

“We are here to fight for the rights of artists; when artists from outside the Nelson Mandela Metro are invited to perform at local events, they get paid a lot of money. But when we are performing, they give us peanuts, but we are doing the same thing.” Qekema described.

“They forget that those people are at where they are because of the support they get from their respective municipalities. For us to get where they are, our municipality must also play a role.

“We want the municipality to stop undermining us because all those artists that are hired and given huge amounts of money, were nobody’s just like us, but after they received support from their municipalities, they became somebodies.”

Yamisa Thwathwa, a frustrated dancer, said local artists are tired of being the ‘many more’ (the minor acts) when events are organised.

“When local artists are going to perform only those, who are already known in the industry, are given a recognition then they write ‘and many more’ who is many more? They must write all our names so that we can also get the recognition we deserve," Thwathwa explained.

A memorandum with several demands was handed toMetro officials with an ultimatum for a response by 15 June.

The artists said if the Metro fails to respond to them within by the given date, then they will boycott all arts-related events organised by the municipality.


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