Thandiswa Mazwai slams SA government ’for looting’ while artists suffer

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Jan 5, 2021

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The lockdown regulations which were enforced in different countries since March 2020 saw many musicians across the world go through financial challenges as live performances and theatres were shut down in an effort to curb the pandemic. As a result many creatives were left in the cold, without an income.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, ’Mazwai’ hitmaker Thandiswa Mazwai posed a question to her over 290K followers about the Swiss covid fund relief programme for SA musicians.

She tweeted: “Bazala (beloveds) did you know that some European government is paying South African jazz musicians a covid grant every month? ...not me but some, fam are getting it.

Many, including Mazwai indicated that they regret not applying for the Switzerland relief fund.

According to the website, The Levedo Foundation (Basel, Switzerland) made a short-term basic income relief grants available to professional jazz musicians in South Africa, whose livelihoods have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The closing date for applications closed end of August.

“The relief grants are available for a six-month period,” read the statement on the Swiss Art Council website.

She also expressed her gratitude to the countries that are willing to help keep the music alive amid the pandemic.

She wrote: “...Thanks to those other countries the jazz fraternity can stay afloat and not lose their minds thinking of money instead of music”.

During the conversation on Twitter with fellow artists, the ’Kwanele’ singer took a swipe at the South African government for not keeping their end of the bargain.

She added: “.... imagine another government doing for us what home should do instead of looting.”

When a Twitter user confirmed that they know of someone who is a beneficiary of the Swiss grant, she said: “Imagine! Switzerland not SA.”

On March 25, Nathi Mthethwa, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture announced a R150-Million Relief Fund to assist artists, athletes and technical personnel.

To date, many artists have on numerous occasions took to social media, claiming that they have not receive any financial aid from the government or their claims have been rejected.

In response to fellow artist Loyiso Majola who also bashed the SA government for their lack of support, Mazwai revealed that she and her band received a sum of R20K in April, which came in very handy.

“They gave me and my entire band and staff 20K. Which helped us buy some groceries in April last year. Blessed,” said Mazwai.

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