'rethink values'

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Gospel singer Lundi Tyamara is in deep trouble with the African Musicians and Artists Against HIV-Aids (Amaha).

The organisation has reacted with shock to weekend reports in which he admitted to being involved in promiscuous and scandalous sexcapades.

Headlines about the gospel singer's confession that he had slept with men and women were splashed across newspapers. One of the claims was that though Tyamara has said he is gay, he had subsequently fathered a child.

With all cylinders firing, Amaha president Doc Shebeleza says it's claims like that which undermine what their organisation, to which Tyamara is affiliated, is trying to do.

"Amaha has undertaken to do our bit for social responsibility, ploughing back to communities any support that we can and to make us who we are. We are working hard to change the mindset of our industry which is perceived as a haven for drugs, glamour, women and child abuse.

"Most artists go into showbiz with a disrespectful attitude. Amaha says that, as artists, we come from good families with values. We were taught morals, ubuntu and Christian values so it's shocking to hear a young boy like Lundi, who is a Christian, a gospel artist and a role model, expressing those sentiments - saying that he sleeps with both men and women! Our industry is dying," said Shebeleza clearly outraged.

Tyamara's record company, Bula Music, declined to comment.

Shebeleza is adamant that support for arts and culture is suffering precisely because of irresponsible behaviour and outbursts by performers like Tyamara.

"Parents have always been against their children following a career in showbiz. After reading what Lundi says, parents will be even more reluctant to allow their children to go into showbiz."

Shebeleza has urged artists to be responsible.

"They must avoid losing respect for themselves and change negative perceptions about themselves. We don't want to judge or control lives but Lundi needs to be discreet about his life.

"We all have an Achilles' heel but we are trying hard to return to the fold in terms of our parents' and society's expectations.

"It's disheartening to read about the two gospel artists who stabbed each other some weeks ago. Artists cannot abuse the platform that God has given them."

Shebeleza said that artists are duty-bound to leave the same lasting and sterling legacy of stars like the legendary Miriam Makeba.

"Today Lundi is on drugs, tomorrow an alcoholic, then he goes to the mountain and comes back a woman. And now this!

"How about him rethinking what his values are?

"Until we respect ourselves, all these unspeakable woes that are fast falling on our industry will persist.

"Lundi must decide what he wants to be, make peace with it and behave responsibly," concluded Shebeleza.