Such hypocrisy

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION&ANALYSIS -

THE death of song­bird Thandi Klaasen has ex­posed the hypocrisy of South Africa’s entertainment sec­tor. Sud­denly, ra­dio sta­tion DJs have re­mem­bered how good she was and have dug into their ar­chives to find her mu­sic. Sud­denly, they feel “proudly South African”.

This hap­pens each time we lose one of our icons. It seems that un­til they die, their mu­sic is rel­e­gated to the back of the queue while our lo­cal ra­dio sta­tions play Amer­i­can and Euro­pean mu­sic. Our ob­ses­sion with mu­sic and artists from over­seas, at the ex­pense of our own stars, is sick­en­ing, to put it mildly.

We need a mind­set shift and to be­gin to cel­e­brate our own while they still live. And we have a lot to cel­e­brate. South Africa is en­dowed with enough tal­ent – and great mu­sic – de­serv­ing of reg­u­lar air­play. Even when the pub­lic broad­caster in­tro­duced the 90% lo­cal mu­sic rule on its sta­tions, DJs out of touch with the his­tory and legacy of our rich mu­si­cal tal­ent still shunned mu­si­cians like Klaasen, flood­ing the air­waves with mu­sic by lo­cal artists mim­ick­ing Amer­i­cans.

A lot of money that is sup­posed to be go­ing to our artists leaves the coun­try. Our artists die poor and we are quick to judge when their fam­i­lies don’t have money to bury them. It’s a sick­ness we need to deal with.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.