LISTEN | Winnie & Rethabile Khumalo get real about lack of unity among female stars
“There are people who have already made up their minds about what they want to do and who they are in competition with,” Rethabile said, when speaking about why unity among women in entertainment was a far-fetched dream in SA.
Mother and daughter entertainers, Winnie and Rethabile Khumalo, got candid about the entertainment industry as they know it, saying that while they got into the industry in different eras, one thing remains the same: lack of unity among female entertainers.
In a conversation with TshisaLIVE, Winnie got emotional as she spoke of the hopelessness she sometimes feels as an entertainer in SA. Winnie admitted that the lack of support from government, the lack of structure or innovation within institutions established to help artists, the lack of unity among women and the brokenness of black society in particular, gave her sleepless nights.
Her daughter and Umlilo hitmaker, Rethabile, shared her mother's passion for some of the topics discussed, especially the lack of unity among fellow female stars.
Listen to the full conversation here:
“The industry is male dominated and we women really need to unite and support one another. But that thing is difficult to do because we are still in competition ... everyone wants to be number one and if I want to associate myself with — for example, a Nomcebo (Zikode) or a Nolwazi — they will say that I want to take their spotlight, or I want to use them. So there's no unity among women, that is why you find even when there's funding and someone wants to fund women — we end up not getting it because we are not united, so somehow it falls through,” Winnie said.
Winnie is confident that women in the industry would benefit from having conversations that would help them foster unity. She believes that workshops may work.
However, her daughter Rethabile, has little to no hope that workshops would help. Having had to hustle to get her name out there — despite having a famous mother — Rethabile says the industry is an “every woman for herself” space and she doesn't think that will change. Her reason is that unity begins when individuals have the same vision and she thinks artists are generally too different to find the common ground necessary.
“I still feel like (there's no unity among female artists even now) and to be honest I don't think that is going to get fixed. There are people who have already made up their minds about what they want to do and who they are in competition with. I don't think even workshops will work because — just like we would be told at school to take certain notes but only a few did it — we could do workshops but not everybody will fully be on board.
“For me, unity will only happen when individuals see the need for it and act accordingly.”
The mother and daughter duo went on to vent their frustrations about the industry as a whole and their hope for a better space for women to exist and shine in.