'Things are not right in this country'

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Could it be that the People's Poet and singer Mzwakhe Mbuli's star is descending?

Mbuli, pictured, who has just announced his retirement as a musician, voiced his ire about a lot of issues at the launch of Zindala Zombili African Music and Dance Festival in Newtown on Friday night.

In the middle of all the mess, Mbuli is in the process of divorcing his wife, Nomsa.

She won't make things easier, even though he is said to have told her she could keep the house with everything in it. But Nomsa is demanding R10000 maintenance for each child.

Mbuli is mum about the home-front but has lashed out at the government for turning a blind eye to the crises facing the South African music industry.

He said important issues such as piracy have not been treated as an emergency, instead government prioritises issues like same-sex marriages and abortion.

"The issue of music and culture in this country is not taken as seriously as in other countries. As artists we have done our job. It's up to the government now to play its part."

Mbuli further blamed government for failing to give artists financial support when they needed it.

He referred to wheelchair-bound singer Oleseng.

"Since he was involved in a car accident, no government official has come to visit him.

"But when there is tragedy, people are quick and interested in making comments."

Still in high spirits after commemorating the 30th anniversary of Black Consciousness icon Steve Bantu Biko, Mbuli said South Africa needs divine intervention.

"This is not a free country at all and I don't believe that this is the country that Biko, Kippie Moeketsi, Mahlathini and others died for.

"Things are just not right in this country."