Vatiswa Ndara. Picture: Instagram
Vatiswa Ndara. Picture: Instagram

Vatiswa Ndara’s open letter to Nathi Mthethwa: ‘Stop exploiting actors'

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Oct 7, 2019

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Veteran actress Vatiswa Ndara has made shocking allegations of actors being abused and unfair treatment by production houses in South Africa, particularly accusing Ferguson Films of exploiting actors while they bag millions. 

In an open letter addressed to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, the "iGazi" star details some of the unfair labour practices, poor remuneration, poor working conditions and unfair treatment by producers and others.

In a lengthy letter, which Mthethwa posted on his official Twitter account, Ndara wrote: “I come forth, not as a clever black seeking relevance, as it does not deliver a dime, nor does it stand to benefit me. 

"At the risk of public shame, humiliation and salacious headlines, not to mention alienation from peers and possible blacklisting from the powers that be in the sector, I humble myself in expressing the truth of my experience in the arts and entertainment industry and publicly exposing the depth of my frustrated and broken spirit."

She continued with a quote from an email sent by Ferguson Films’s offering her a contact for the third season of the hard-hitting drama series "iGazi" where she played NomaRussia. The character that Mzansi love to hate.

“...we would like to offer Vatiswa a global contract for 'iGazi' for R110k (before tax) for the duration of 5 weeks. No limit to calls, first call exclusive to us. She will also need to allocate a day a wardrobe fitting and make up tests... but otherwise we only have her during the five shooting week.”

The star then dissects the contents of the offer highlighting some of the “harsh realities” of the offer. After tax she will take home around R82 000, and she will be required to not seek any further employment until the contract has been completed. She also mentioned the possible long working hours that she may have to endure during the hectic filming schedule.

See the full statement below:

GOOD MORNING 🙋🏽‍♀ 🇿🇦

AN OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS & CULTURE @NathiMthethwaSA+ @asandamagaqa #actor #acting #actorslivesmatter #DiaryOfAMadFrustratedActor #StopExploitingActors #TheShowMustGoOn #IAmAnActorSA #SouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/o2auq7FckZ

— Vatiswa Ndara (@theVati_Can) October 7, 2019

While Minister Mthethwa acknowledged receipt of Ndara's email, viewers are demanding a thorough investigation into the matter and a proper plan of action.

Is there a date and time we can expect your responses on this open letter Minister?? Remember we are the content consumers and we pay for this content and therefore it is only fair that this kind of injustice be met with speedy resolution. I await your response.

— Odie (@odz2019) October 7, 2019

You better take action wena Minister of Condolences and Congratulations Department pic.twitter.com/06aPQa6wn7

— MaftownGuru (@Sebastian_McRam) October 7, 2019

Implement the changes Minister.

— Jacob J. Maphosa (@jacobmaphosa_) October 7, 2019

May it not only be received, but that something, some changes are effected bcoz we can't keep losing good actors!

— Zet Gal (@SeptemberZama) October 7, 2019

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