Veteran actor Vusi Thanda fears he may become homeless

Vusi Thanda. Picture: Facebook

Vusi Thanda. Picture: Facebook

Published Sep 24, 2022


Thespian uTata Vusi Thanda has addressed concerns about his situation after a video of him pleading for financial assistance went viral this week.

In a video clip that has been making rounds on social media, the “Emzini Wezinsizwa” star pleads for financial assistance.

“I am Vusumzi A Thanda and I bank with Capitec. I would like to thank all those who listened to my message and acted on it. May you do the same to other people as well, this is my bank card with my account number,” Thanda said in an emotional video.

Speaking to IOL Entertainment Tata uThanda said making that video was the hardest, yet bravest, thing he had done in his lifetime.

“Tuesday this week, I was sitting on my bed when a hard knock came on my door … when I opened the door, it was the owners of this flat … they told me they have come to throw me out,” he said.

Thanda said he was still trying to come to terms with the fact that his family may be homeless, when his son’s school called to say they were expelling him due to outstanding fees.

“I went to son’s school and they said ‘we don’t want your child here, not without the money’. Then I knew had to do something. I then bumped into this lady that helped me and she said, let me go to the Arts and Culture (Department of Arts and Culture) but they were not willing to help me.

“She then said what about your royalties at the SABC?’ She went to the SABC and there was no money for me there. She then said let’s go on Facebook and plead to the South Africans, that’s how that video got to be made,” he said.

Thanda explained he was diagnosed with diabetes in October 2020 and when he got very sick, everyone thought it was Covid-19.

“I thought I was going to die,” said Thanda.

The former “The Queen” actor said in less than 24 hours of the video being released, he received a lot of criticism and judgement from friends, colleagues and even his family.

The veteran actor said it was when he got a “hard knock” on his door this week and the landlord told him to vacate his flat that he realised he has no choice but to speak up and ask for help.

“From January to December 2021, I was lying flat in bed … I was very sick. The doctors couldn’t help me. They thought I had Covid. I tested several times and each time the test came back negative. They later established that I have sugar diabetes.

“Even Shona Ferguson … because I was working at ‘The Queen’ (at the time), came to fetch me and insisted that I get tested … and I was negative. And it pains me that Shona, may his soul rest in peace, had to die from Covid.

“I didn't want to give in to death, so I fought for my life.

“In 2022, from January to May, I was still sick and this affected my career horribly. I wasn’t working, I had no finances in my account and my children were starving.

“We were really having a hard time. I couldn’t pay rent … I couldn't pay school fees for my youngest son, who is doing matric this year.

“When I wanted to go to work my agent couldn't get work because we were told that I am old, and I might get Covid,” he said.

Tata uThanda’s video went viral on social media and it got the attention of actress and TV host, Pearl Thusi.

Thusi shared the video on her Instagram with a caption: “This is so heartbreaking… artists who have inspired and entertained us for many years are now on their knees asking for help. Please let’s help…”

She added: “What’s cruel is how the SABC continues to undercut artists as they continue to make money “in perpetuity” and what’s worse is how artists can’t come together and fight this because we’re so divided… things need to change.”

Local stars including “Expresso Morning Show” host Katlego Maboe, rapper YangaChief, “The Wife” actor Linda Majola, “Bulletproof” star Thapelo Mokoena, model and businessman Maps Maponyane, “Black Door” actor Sthembiso Sk Khoza all shared Thusi’s sentiments and urged everyone to lend a helping hand.

Tata uThanda concluded by saying that despite the negative feedback on social media, he is appreciative of the love and support he has received so far.

He added that he would like to get back to doing what he does best – acting – and appealed to producers to give him a chance to showcase his talent.

IOL Entertainment reached out to SABC for a comment but none was received at the time of publishing.