Top artists come out in support of ANC

Lebogang Tsele

Lebogang Tsele

As the elections draw closer, the ANC's election campaign was given further momentum by a number of the country's top performing artists at this week's "Cultural Sector Manifesto Endorsement Dinner" held at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg.

Attended by scores of luminaries such as Abigail Kubeka, Mara Louw, and Thandi Klaasen, Wednesday's gala dinner was laid on for those in the performing arts who are lending their support to the ANC ahead of the general elections.

ANC president Jacob Zuma re-iterated his belief in the flourishing music industry as well as the ANC's commitment to the rights of artists.

Zuma said: "The music industry has the potential to create employment and wealth for thousands of people."

He told the guests about the ANC's plans for the industry, which included the provision of subsidies to encourage music productions, opportunities for black empowerment enterprises, local investment and the growth of independent record companies.

"Our government is also looking into promoting international music market access," Zuma said.

Singing and dancing on stage with other artists at the function, singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka said: "We are going nowhere. We are here at home, we are 'coping' right here with the ANC."

Mara Louw said: "Baba Msholozi (Zuma), we, the music industry of Southern Africa, support you."

Veteran actor Kid Sithole, speaking on behalf of local actors, in a witty speech, said: "Comrade Msholozi once said in September 2007 . 'comrades, you are the storytellers of our country. All we need to do is to level the playing field so that you can prosper. And while you tell all those stories, including the story of the struggle, you must get paid, and well paid for that matter'. And comrade Zuma, we have not forgotten it."

Striking a critical note, actor Sello Maake ka-Ncube spoke about issues facing the acting community.

"When you try to find actors in the ilk of John Kani, in a country of more than 40 million people, and you cannot count more than five, that says something about our country."

Singer Bianca le Grange, said: "I believe that we here are the future and we should embrace it. Jacob Zuma is going to be our next president." - Sowetan Online