Happy's lawyer to nail campus radio station


By Solly Maphumulo

Happy Sindane's lawyer is to throw the book at Tuks FM, the University of Pretoria's radio station, for using Happy's image in a controversial advertisement.

A poster advertising jobs at Tuks FM features Happy's photograph - with his eyes blanked out - and the slogan: "Want to find jou ma?"

The punch line is linked to the confusion over the identity of Happy, who claims to have been born to white parents but was raised by a black family.

It is also a play on the station's marketing slogan, Jou Ma (your mother), which is an abbreviation of an Afrikaans slur.

This is the second time that usage of Happy's image, and exploiting doubt about his origins, has caused outrage.

On Youth Day, Dulux published a paint advertisement that featured Happy's photograph, three swatches of colour ranging from light to dark skin tones, and the slogan "Any colour you can think of".

Dulux withdrew the advert, apologised to Happy and paid unspecified damages to him after the Bronkhorstspruit magistrate's court ordered that his image could not be used without the court's permission.

The offending Tuks FM poster has been distributed in Pretoria, where Tuks FM is trying to attract job applicants for posts at the station.

The advertisement has caused controversy among Tuks students, some of whom feel it is unacceptable because Happy's search for his roots was a serious matter.

As a result of the complaints, the university's students representative council ordered the posters removed.

SRC spokesperson David Maimela said Tuks FM's behaviour was unforgivable.

"The first time I saw the posters featuring Happy's photograph on the campus, I noted that it was morally and emotionally wrong. We called an urgent meeting and ordered Tuks FM to remove the posters with immediate effect."

Maimela said the station's manager, Riaan van der Heever, had said Tuks FM had not intended to be insensitive, but was merely trying to attract job applicants.


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