Penny Lebyane slams 'it celebrities' for expecting help from arts ministry
Media personality Penny Lebyane has added her voice to the wave of commentary after sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa outlined his department's plans to minimise the impact of Covid-19.
As the country prepares to go into a 21-day lockdown at midnight on Thursday, until April 16, many were disappointed and frustrated after his speech on Wednesday.
In his speech, the minister mentioned a few plans that will be implemented during the lockdown including, but not limited to, the unveiled an R150 million war-chest set up to help support artists through the coronavirus crisis.
Penny said the money allocated was not enough to accommodate every stakeholder in the industry and slammed “it celebrities” who had previously shown no interest in regulating the creative sector.
“To not be unionised will be felt in the entire creative sector. To see 'celebrities' suddenly having an interest in the arts and culture (ministry) plans today, when for years the 'it girls and boys' saw the arts and culture (ministry) conversations as boring. Today they want to be heard and seen. Sadly it's not going happen,” she said.
Penny added that their “superiority” and failure to participate to ensure the sector was unified would haunt them now.
And also the real people who need the money r nt here on tweeter inthe arts. They r nt the popular ones, they r the workers. We can’t be instant advocate or activist cause of a crisis. Its about sowing & reaping. Nothing sowed nothing wl be reaped 150 mill is too little any way.— PennyLebyane💚AppRadioMama (@PennyLebyane) March 25, 2020
She said she wasn't going to mince her words and watch as these celebs claimed help from the ministry when they failed to make their voices heard when the industry needed them.
"'It boys and girls' must use their power and influence for the greater good and not just personal gains. We would have more money coming to the arts if the energy was directed to a bigger pool.
“They never wanna associate with them or advocate for the same rights everyone deserves. They see themselves as better than them and also won’t serve. So hai ke, let them enjoy their riches because they are not even wealthy. I will listen on the radio, watch from the sidelines,” Penny said.
Heeeee, big sis we convenience ndiyeke toe. ‘’it girls&boys” must use their power&influence fr the greatergood nt jst personal gains only. We wld hv more money coming to the arts if the energy was directed to a bigger pool. Bt keh ndiya theta mna. #Covid19SA wl fix selfishness— PennyLebyane💚AppRadioMama (@PennyLebyane) March 25, 2020
Tjini... Who rhabulisad me? As l said #Covid19inSA is here too balance things out... Those people know how hungry, poor, desperate and few opportunities are out there for our people are, they cannot play Ignorant if they did they are about to understand. #21daysLockdown— PennyLebyane💚AppRadioMama (@PennyLebyane) March 25, 2020
Exactly they never wanna associate wt them, or advocate for the same rights everyone deserves,they see themselves as better than them,also won’t serve. So haike let them enjoy their richness cos they are not even wealthy. I will listen on the radio, watch from the sidelines.— PennyLebyane💚AppRadioMama (@PennyLebyane) March 25, 2020
Many other prominent performers, such as Rami Chuene, Florence Masebe, Mmabatho Mantsho and Nokuthula Mavuso, also reacted to Mthethwa's speech.
Others expressed confusion and disappointment at a “lack of clear direction” from the ministry.
See their reactions below:
Dancers, set designers, make up, wardrobe, show runners, directors, theatre managers, staff, caterers, orchestras, studios, Radio DJ’s, engineers, fine artists, sports people, etc. This is BIGGER than front liners & superstars! @NathiMthethwaSA & the Dept don’t take us seriously.— Rami Chuene🌈🏳️🌈 (@ramichuene) March 25, 2020
Yes minister, I read it. I wouldn’t be all over you if I didn’t.— Rami Chuene🌈🏳️🌈 (@ramichuene) March 25, 2020
I'm trying to catch up on the arts practitioners relief measures. Ndi confused shem. Let me leave it alone.— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) March 25, 2020
Below is the minister's speech: