Musician Eugene Mthethwa has questioned how so many local music veterans have died poor when they are held in so much regard by people and the music fraternity in SA.
Eugene was in a contemplative mood recently and took to Instagram to reflect on the impact the legends of yesteryear, like Simon “Mahlathini” Nkabinde, have had on him and the country’s arts industry.
In a lengthy post he asked: “What happened for Mahlathini, David Masondo and many others who have died poor whilst their names remain our cultural pride, international musical icons and legends? The sad last days of Velaphi Mjongeni, are they no longer going to be witnessed in the current greatness of talented actors, radio and TV presenters?”
He said that he would reward whoever could tell him exactly what had caused such a depressing state of affairs.
Years since the sad passing of Mahlathini, we are still faced with the same situation of paupers’ deaths that have become synonymous with the sector. Yet look at how many queue for the Pop Idols every year, desperately wanting to enter into this intransigent industry?” he added.
Eugene said it was sad to see so many youth “humiliate” themselves for the chance to get into an entertainment industry fraught with problems.
“The youth of our country that remain denied access into the industry thus having to stand before the cameras, Somizi, Unathi, Randall; willing to humiliate themselves, families and friends trying their luck, even when the contestants know that they can’t sing.”
He said something needed to change and that youth leagues needed to help those youngsters and not just fight for land.
“Sad that our youth leagues are chanting expropriation of land, leaving the youth in queues helplessly hoping (for) the golden ticket.
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