Sunday World - - Front Page - MDUDUZI NONYANE

THE SABC has thrown a life­line to 180 lo­cal mu­sic vet­er­ans in a bid to res­cue them from poverty. Con­tro­ver­sial SABC COO Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng an­nounced yes­ter­day that the pub­lic broad­caster was award­ing R50 000 each to the 180 mu­sic in­dus­try le­gends. The list of the vet­er­ans to be blessed con­sists of mainly those who were prom­i­nent in the 1980s such as Amadamara hit-maker Fred­die Gwala, bub­ble gum queen Mercy Pakela, the peo­ple ’ s poet Mzwakhe Mbuli, blind song­ster Babsy Mlan­geni and praise poet Jes­sica Mban­geni. Mot­soe­neng said this de­ci­sion came af­ter en­gag­ing with the mu­si­cians. “We know of cases where our artists die poor and, as the SABC, we make these con­tri­bu­tions to stop that cy­cle.” Mot­soe­neng de­clined to dis­close the source of this money, only say­ing that they teamed up with their “stake­hold­ers ” to make the move pos­si­ble. He en­cour­aged the vet­er­ans to con­tinue cre­at­ing mu­sic so that “the South African iden­tity does not fiz­zle out”. He said that the cash in­jec­tion will en­cour­age the artists to com­pose qual­ity mu­sic again. Gwala said the money would play a huge part in his life, in­clud­ing help­ing him to­wards the pro­duc­tion of his next al­bum ti­tled Angiyi Eroun­dini. Mbuli said this was long overdue. “US and Nige­rian mu­si­cians are big to­day be­cause their gov­ern­ments stood by their artists.” Pakela said the de­ci­sion was “bril­liant” as she planned to re­vive her ca­reer.

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