Veteran actor Sello Maake Ka-Ncube has lamented the current state of the entertainment industry, claiming that it is undergoing a cultural crisis and is “more barren than before 1994”.
Whether that is true or not, we have a major assignment of transforming the entertainment industry. I consider cultural crisis to mean that we do not trust that the talent we are having in the country can handle a major project of international status. What makes us to prefer foreign talent instead of our own local ones?
Are we trying to tackle cultural crisis by dealing with certain stereotypical behaviors that overcloud the views and professionalism of local entertainers? The message send by having only certain individuals appearing on TV shows send a wrong message about the talents in the country.
Idris Elba played Nelson Mandela in the movie, “Long Walk to Freedom”, while Morgan Freeman played the former President of the Republic of South African in the movie called Invictus, which portrayed Mandela in 2009. Does this mean that we do not have good actors in the country to play the role of one of our own? What does this say about the South African Creative Industry?
The then Minister of Sports, Minister Fikile Mbalula, had arranged for Beyoncé Knowles to perform at the Sports Awards in South Africa in 2012. It was alleged that Beyonce’s fee, was reported to be R17-million an hour, which can be shared by more than 50 local musicians.
Why consider foreign talents when we equally have men and women who can play the roles of the characters we want to portray? “Do we really have a cultural crisis or are we just undermining ourselves”?