- Mzansi actress, Vatiswa Ndara, took to social media again to let the public know that she had met with the Minister of Sport, Arts & Culture, Nathi Mthethwa
- They had a conference call and later met to discuss the state of the industry and other issues that she highlighted in her six-page open letter
- Ndara said the minister explained that he would respond in public in due course
Mzansi actress, Vatiswa Ndara, has met with Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture Nathi Mthethwa to discuss the alleged “mistreatment” which the actress levelled against Ferguson Films earlier this week, as well as the state of the industry as a whole.
Ndara caused a stir on social media on Monday after she shared a six-page open letter to the Minister Mthethwa on social media which highlighted how she and other actors were being “exploited” by big name production houses. She also urged the minister to do something about their plight.
Following the huge public outcry, the minister, who confirmed receipt of the open letter on Twitter, held a conference call and later met with Ndara.
The actress then took to Twitter, explaining that the minister would officially respond to the public in due course.
“He encourages SA creatives not to lose momentum and keep up the burning spirit of progress.”
According to TshisaLIVE, in the open letter, Ndara quoted an offer from Ferguson Films to shoot season 3 of iGazi. She claimed the offer of R110 000 (before tax) was unfair as the hours of filming could range from 3 to 12 hours a day, six days a week, and the amount did not include compensation for the PR and media interviews linked to the role.
Ndara told the publication that she decided to address her concerns in an open letter to the minister and not just the Fergusons, as she intended to reach a wider network to that action could be taken.
“He maybe has the power to talk to other people because there are other departments that can come into the equation. It would need to be a discussion on different levels, with the Department of Labour, with SARS and many other sectors.
“There needs to be a step forward. There needs to be a way for different sectors to work together to make the industry more sustainable.”
But Briefly.co.za learnt that the Fergusons had labelled Ndara’s open letter as “misguided” and had dismissed the allegations of “exploitation and mistreatment of actors” in a lengthy statement, which they also shared on social media.
The owners of Ferguson Films, Connie and Shona Ferguson, claimed Ndara’s letter was a “ploy to defame and tarnish” their reputation.
“We support 100% a need for the industry to be regulated and for the Performance Protection Amendment Bill to be signed sooner rather than later. With that said, the allegations made by the various actors do not reflect the true position of the industry and paint a false picture that may mislead the public,” read the statement.
Below is the tweet that the minister had posted confirming his conference call with Ndara.
Meanwhile a day ago, Briefly.co.za reported that media personality and TV host, Pearl Thusi, shared her opinion on the Ferguson saga that dominated trends on Twitter this week.
Other celebs like Sizwe Dhlomo and Harriet Khoza chipped in with their opinions but was dragged by social media users who sided with Vatiswa with their #IStanWithVatiswa.
But one thing that was noted on social media was that it was not only Ferguson Films that had to cut their budget by underpaying staff – it’s an industry-wide problem that needs to be addressed.
Pearl Thusi stressed this same point at great lengths when she joined the online conversation on Twitter. Then she also shared an interesting and constructive suggestion for how people can help actors, by forming actors’ unions.
She said: “I’d love to see “a list” of productions with no respect for actors and other crew exposed but fact is – Trend dies and those brace actors will be punished for speaking, we’ll again be asked to open up industry that pays peanuts, producers/channel will continue exploiting artists.”
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