Penny Lebyane slams ‘it celebrities’ for expecting help from arts ministry

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.

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.

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:

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