Send-off for township stars defended
THE eThekwini Municipality has defended a send-off breakfast for BET Award-nominated Durban artists Babes Wodumo and Nasty C, saying there had been “no noise” when the city did the same for the Boks, Chad le Clos or Ladysmith Black Mambazo, among others.
“I tend to have a problem when we can’t celebrate a child from a township taking Durban to the international stage. What’s wrong with Babes Wodumo? I don’t get it. She’s a typical township girl from Lamontville who has made it in life through her talent. It should be celebrated,” said Durban Tourism head Phillip Sithole.
Speaking at an eThekwini Municipality executive committee meeting yesterday, Sithole said this was part of their taking Durban to the world programme.
“It’s something we have been doing all along. It will be known globally that these two are coming from Durban, that’s the reason behind the breakfast.”
Similar send-offs have been done for gospel group Ithimba Le Africa and the Clermont Community Choir.
Sithole said some people may complain about the dress code or perceived behaviour of the two artists, but there was no taking away that they were among the finest artists from Durban townships.
Babes, real name Bongekile Simelane, 23, is from Lamontville and Nasty C, Nsikayesizwe David jr Ngcobo, 20, is from uMlazi.
DA councillor Heinz de Boer said they had no problem with Babes Wodumo and Nasty C, but believed there were other ways to promote Durban through artists going overseas.
Speaking after the meeting, he said they were proud of the pair, who would represent the city in Los Angeles, where the BET Awards would be held on June 25.
“Instead of having a breakfast where we are using taxpayers’ money, is there not a way we can capacitate those artists to further promote the city overseas?
“It’s just that we’ve got a culture in eThekwini that every time something happens, we want to have a mayoral breakfast or gala dinner. We don’t believe that’s always the right way,” said De Boer.