The Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) invited scores of celebrities to the occasion in Thokoza on the East Rand, where the Gauteng Premier delivered the address last Friday.
The Citizen saw a list of 40 names of music, sport and TV stars who were invited as special guests. It is understood most of the stars on the list are staunch ANC members with different leadership preferences for the ruling party.
Insiders said some who did not show up were unhappy about various issues in the ANC and the provincial government. These included what they see as a lack of state funding for the arts industry in Gauteng. Sources, who asked not to be named, said the dismal performance of the ANC in Gauteng was also a contributing factor.
Lack of Funding
Actor Matli Mohapeloa admitted he was unhappy about the “lack of funding” for the arts industry and the performance of the ANC in the recent elections. But he could not attend the event as he was booked on that day. Mohapeloa plays the role of Moss Cele on Zabalaza on M-Net’s Mzansi Magic channel.
“Lack of funding for this industry affects me personally because I survive on acting,” he added.
Another actor and ANC member Thato Molamu, who plays the role of Nicholas Nomvete in Generations, said he had an invitation for a gathering in the office of North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo on the same day.
He said it was imperative for the government to regulate the arts industry so artists were not ripped off.
Generations’ actress Winnie Ntshaba was one of few invited celebrities seen by The Citizen at the event.
Pfano Bulasigobo, from the GPL, said the celebrities were invited as provincial stakeholders, not as ANC members. She did not reveal the number of invited artists who did not show up.
Media liaison department director for the Gauteng department of arts and culture, Tumelo Taunyane, said the department was providing financial support to a number of premier arts and cultural events, including Joy of Jazz Moretele Park Heroes Concert and the FNB Joburg Art Fair.