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Zikhona Sodlaka on artists struggling during lockdown: “Freelancers are starving”

2020-05-05 15:25
Zikhona Sodlaka
Zikhona Sodlaka (PHOTO: Gallo Images)

Many businesses have taken a knock due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown regulations.

There have been hundreds and thousands of job losses and the entertainment industry is one of the industries that has been under strain.

Musicians have had to forfeit bookings and production companies have halted shoots with many working from home while practicing social distancing.

Actress Zikhona Sodlaka recently shared a video on her Instagram page, pleading to those who can help to assist freelancers and artists in this trying time.“The life of freelancers is that you live from paycheque to paycheque. There are people who are doing well and there are the ones who are alright, she said.She went on to say that people are afraid to ask for help.

“Crew members, the people who don’t make it in front of the camera are suffering and banentloni (They are ashamed). Understandably so; nobody wants to be known that they don’t have money,” she said.

“The reality is that we don’t talk, yet it’s rough. To those having a rough time, just speak up. I really wish artists could speak up. If it’s bad it’s bad. We are not legislated; the government doesn’t recognise us as labourers. It’s almost a shame, we can’t ask for help because we are celebrated.

”Regarding the Covid-19 artist relief fund, the Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said on 6 May 2020, he will be meeting with key national organisations in the creative industries to look at how, within the legal parameters, they can ensure that those who really need the assistance, especially from the disadvantaged communities, receive funding.

“We're concerned with the high number of applications in the arts and culture sector that were not recommended as they didn't comply with the requirements after the independent panel did its due diligence. We are looking into this,” he said.