Casting agent owes us money, say acting extras
A LABOUR broker who supplies local soapies Rhythm City and Generations with extras is accused of being a con artist who defrauds clients who use his agency to get work. He denies the claims
Thabo Nzimande, who owns TJ Casting in Johannesburg, is said to owe several Rhythm city extras who have used his agency to get work on the popular soapie.
Nzimande charges the extras a joining fee of between R450 and R500 and pays them R110 per call.
Two extras, Tshidi Modise of Pimville and Kgomotso Maine of Kagiso, claim that Nzimande has not paid them since March. The duo appeared in Rhythm City.
They allege that Nzimande had defrauded many other extras who are afraid to come out. They are apparently afraid that Nzimande will blacklist them and deprive them of work as extras.
Modise said: "He calls you when Rhythm City is looking for extras. After you have done the job, he disappears. He has not paid me. We are supposed to get R110 per call. He owes a lot of people but they are afraid that he will blacklist them if they complain".
Yesterday Generations casting director Phophi Mulaudzi said the popular soapie had stopped using Nzimande's services because he allegedly did not pay the extras he supplied. "People come to my office to complain about not being paid. When I spoke to him about this, he became very rude and hung up on me," Mulaudzi said.
Rhythm City's production manager Victoria Maake has, however, come out in defence of Nzimande. Maake said Nzimande always paid the extras he brought to the soapie. She said they never get complaints about Nzimande.
Nzimande also poured cold water on the allegations that he owed anyone money.
"If I am avoiding these people, why did I answer your private number?" he asked.
He also admitted that Generations had stopped using extras he provided because of a "misunderstanding between me and one of their people".
"There is a guy who appeared in Generations as an extra who did not want his money to be taxed. He caused all these problems."
Nzimande said he had about 100 members in his casting agency, which means he has earned between R45,000 and R50,000 in joining fees. He said he had recently supplied extras for SABC1 drama series Tshisa.
- Labour brokers have recently come under fire from Cosatu. The labour federation accuses them of exploiting desperate people and wants them banned.