I’m going to be frank with you. The reason why SA’s cream of the crop dies poor is because you don’t support them. Yes you, the individual reading this!
You would rather buy Lil Wayne’s new album for R180 than to buy AKA’s latest offering for R99 at Musica. Not only do we not buy enough local content but some of the few individuals who do support local music will do so from a pirated DVD/CD or from a 30 gig memory stick plugged into their radio sets.
You and your girlfriends or boys plan movie nights watching American films but can’t be bothered to go and see local films like A Million Colours, State of Violence, or Umtshado. It’s no wonder we have Americans telling Mzansi’s stories or playing lead roles in our own movies, like Red Dust, Cry Freedom, Disgrace and Catch a Fire. It’s because we don’t support and invest in a ticket at Ster Kinekor for just R50, on Tuesdays you get a discount but still, we don’t go!
You would much rather purchase a Gucci or Levi’s t-shirt than buy a local brand like Mantsho, Butan Wear, Head Honcho, Ephymol or Stoned Cherrie.
If people knew just how much work, creativity and genuine old school hustling goes into making a 30 minute show like Intersextions to air on SABC 1 during prime time, I think they would respect TV and watch local content like Dineo’s Diary, Running with the Reps, My World or Culture Shock instead of sticking to Life on the fab lane with Kimora, or Keeping up with the Kardashians, with Kim and her annoying relatives.
Mzansi’s most creative musicians, most gifted painters, designers and singers are all dying broke even though they have this talent that Americans find amazing. When last did you buy or listen to Freshly Ground’s music? Have you taken the time to appreciate the sounds of MXO, HHP or Tuks? Do you know when and where they are performing this year? How much is a ticket? Yet we all flood to the Dome when we hear that chubby guy who doesn’t shave his beard is coming to SA. What’s his name, Rick Ross?
Your excuse for not buying local content cannot be that SA is lacking, because if you think that’s the case, then I hereby declare you ignorant. Hugh Masekela is loved overseas, Nomfusi – that jazz songbird – is amazingly huge in Europe, yet you don’t even know her. Yes, we are different and will not like the same things in life but, for you to overlook artists because they are local and rather copy their CDs than buying them, tells me you’re heartless. I’ve had to watch musicians like H2O, Pebbles and Gommora fizzle away into SA’s archives because their music wasn’t bought by locals. Shame on you!
If we lived in the states I bet Busi Mhlongo, Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Lebo Mathosa, Brenda Fassie, all would have left behind truckloads of money before their passing. But, because you and I didn’t support them while they were alive and still don’t buy their music today, their families and children will remain the hard working citizens that fill up Mzansi’s malls selling overseas products to Africans.
Poppy Pops Vilakazi