Phemelo Motene hits back at claims that Clicks outrage takes away from other serious issues

Kyle Zeeman Digital Editor
Phemelo Motene has weighed in on the outrage.
Phemelo Motene has weighed in on the outrage.
Image: Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu

Radio personality and former Generations actress Phemelo Motene has hit back at suggestions that the outrage over a “racist” advert by Clicks was taking attention away from other service delivery issues that are “more pressing”.

Clicks came under fire on Friday after the advert on its website, which labelled African “hair as dry and damaged” and “white hair as fine and flat”, went viral on social media.

It sparked outrage across the country and while the retailer apologised and removed the advert, the EFF held protests outside several of the company's stores.

The debate around the advert continued on social media, where columnist and political analyst Judith February claimed it was overshadowing important topics that needed addressing.

SA today: stores trashed by a minority political party because of a hair ad. Meanwhile children die in pit latrine toilets, corruption eats away democratic gains and unemployment is near 50% but by all means let’s destroy Clicks and more jobs,” Judith wrote.

Phemelo disagreed with the sentiment and made it clear that people can be outraged by more than one thing at a time.

She also told Judith to “stop policing out emotions”. [sic]

Members of the EFF, led by deputy president Floyd Shivambu, protested outside the Clicks retail store in Sandton City as part of a nationwide protest on September 7 2020. This comes after the retail group released a TRESemmé advert on its website that has been condemned by the EFF as racist. Meanwhile, police are investigating several incidents across the country where stores were vandalised.

The star returned to Twitter on Tuesday to also share an encounter she had with a man who claimed that “architect of apartheid” Hendrik Verwoerd was right about black people governing the country.

He also asked her what the problem was with the Clicks advert.

“I am so hurt. I started wondering about the daily experiences of his employees. Our black fathers, brothers, uncles work for him. I wanted to hug them all,” Phemelo wrote of the experience.