Many industry peers have spoken out in solidarity with actress Vatiswa Ndara who penned an open letter on the exploitation of actors.
The veteran actress penned a letter to the Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa asking him to take action against the unfair working conditions faced by actors in the industry.
Ndara faces legal action against her after calling out local production company Ferguson Films for underpaying her and other unfair practices.
She told 702's Bongani Bingwa that Ferguson Films is contributing to a rotten system which only sees production companies and broadcasters profit.
The iGazi star announced that she would not be returning for the show's third season.
Fellow iGazi actor Talitha Ndima added her voice to the condemnation and said she herself had been made into a " modern-day slave".
There is no season 3. It's not worth it for any of us. We need much better terms. The current situation is not it. #igaziseason3— Talitha Ndima (@talinolu) October 7, 2019
Remind me to tell you how i left Johannesburg about 4 months ago and move to the Eastern Cape because I was done being a modern day slave. https://t.co/GPBoSBCbEV— Talitha Ndima (@talinolu) October 7, 2019
Another actress, Keke Mphuthi also shared her experience while working on two productions with Ferguson Films in a Twitter thread.
Mphuthi alleges that she was underpaid and fired mid-season because she was pregnant. She claims she was not paid out her full contract as a result.
Finally 😅 y’all don’t even know half the trauma I went through because of the Ferguson’s ,because I was pregnant and even before then I was earning below minimum on two PRODUCTIONS I PLAYED LEAD ON 💁🏽♀️... then I find out they trying to get me blacklisted 🤣🤣🤣🤣 LOOK AT GOD...— Keke Mphuthi (@keke_mphuthi16) October 7, 2019
The Fergusons have not directly addressed the contents of Ndara’s letter. However, their Brendon de Kooker has been given instructions to take legal action.
Industry heavyweights such as Sello Maake Ka-Ncube have commended Ndara for having the courage to expose what many other actors have kept silent on.
Many of them claim that speaking out can lead to 'blacklisting' within the film and TV space.
Vatiswa ur pain reverberate in a debilitating throb in my soul.This an echo of 1000 muted voices.I jst pray & hope that doesn't end as yet another agonised howl in the wilderness.I wish could commend u for brave.This is when u can no longer suffer in silence.Yr heart beats in myn https://t.co/JnsJMmvT2P— Sello Maake KaNcube (@sellomkn) October 7, 2019
Other stars who have spoken out against industry-wide ill-treatment include Rami Chuene and Zenande Mfenyana (both from The Queen), Nokuthula Mavuso (The River and Abomama), Kgomotso Christopher (Scandal and Isidingo), Masasa Mbangeni and Florence Masebe (The Republic) and Slindile Nodangala (Generations).
My heart bleeds for Vatiswa. For all of us.— 🌈Nokuthula Mavuso (@NoxNonozi) October 7, 2019
You know those ones you think there must have been a mistake cos they’re missing a few zeros? Yes, we’ve seen them. https://t.co/X8I7gzhMU2— Rami Chuene🌈🏳️🌈 (@ramichuene) October 7, 2019
Good morning to everyone...except those of you trying to justify the continued exploitation of ARTISTS & CREW, and those in power refusing to sign the #PPAB...it's Tuesday and STILL #IstandWithVatiswa ✊🏾✊🏾— Kgomotso Christopher (@kgchristopher) October 8, 2019
So, here's the thing. Everyone gets their turn to be gatvol. Don't ask why now. Support every voice that is brave enough to speak up. It couldn't have been easy.— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) October 7, 2019
I’m so triggered right now 💔— Zenande Mfenyana (@Zenande_Mcfen) October 7, 2019
And again I repeat don’t demand people to stand up unless you will be there for them when they arent being called for work because someone has labelled them difficult . I stood up two years ago & saw people step back that I never thought would! So please don’t!— Bhut’ Masasa (@MsMasasa) October 8, 2019
No one ever said to teachers build your own schls cause you hv a problem with the system!No one ever said to nurses build your own hospitals bc you hv a problem with the system!!Why is it easy to say to Actors open your own production company bc u hv a problem with the system!— slindile nodangala (@nodangala4) October 7, 2019