Breaking Barriers



Continued from last week: Sports and culture can never be separated as the two are mostly in existence due to human nature/talent, its schools such as Puo Media to teach both experienced and the young up and coming artist the do’s and don’ts when it comes to financial management. Although ultimately the onus lies with the incumbent to make the final decision right for them.

Understanding the business side of the industry also ensures that few incidents of exploitation is experienced in the industry at large; this is because artist will be able to know when to draw the line, when to work and of course to know their worth, this is key as Dipuo Lekalakala tells us that she once attended a workshop whereby somebody was saying that one of the most common unethical behavior happening in the industry was artists’ managers get paid on behalf of the artist themselves which is wrong, it is supposed to be the other way round, the artist should get paid and pay the agent the agreed fee. 

Gender disparity in almost every industry globally is still a stable trend, despite the positive reinforcing initiatives by the South African government such as having a Chapter 9 institution like the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), with its main role being to “promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality”, in the past women were marginalized. It is only now that they taking up leadership roles – going toe to toe with their male counterpart everywhere – when asked whether women in the art industry are taking leadership roles (e.g. chairing boards), the Marapyane born businesswoman vigorously said yes; “women are indeed ready and in fact are taking up those roles”.

Government is doing enough to support the industry believes Dipuo, it is only because artists are not meeting it halfway, because they simply do not want to comply with set regulations/requirements and the easiest and fastest way to do this is to study and increase their pool of knowledge, “whoever that is saying that the government is not doing enough is simply saying they themselves are not doing enough on their own to get to know the business side of their industry” she said. We touched on the Performance Amendment Bill which is before Parliament right now, is one of the mechanisms government will use once signed into law; to protect the rights of artists in the industry but artist need to always work on their crafts both academically and professionally.

Tragedy follows everyone and the media industry is not immune to this, in 2019 just after two months of its release, the lead actor of the South African comedy movie Matwetwe, Sibusiso Khwinana whose life was tragically taken away at the tender age of 25. What many do not know is that the late Khwinana worked closely with Puo Media.

Acting puts a huge mental strain on actors, when asked how they managed to keep going after his death, Dipuo told us because they train a lot of artists they kept doing that; working, the industry has an abundance of talent and the show must go on, “there is so much talent out there but as a person we have definitely lost one of our own due to crime”.

Despite the world being on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic; regardless, the month of June still and will always form an important part of our South Africa’s young democracy, Puo Media as a black owned, youth owned company celebrate this month in their everyday operations.

Every year the South African State Theater holds the Youth Expression Festival to celebrate and commemorate Youth Month, it is through such events that raw talent is discovered. Puo Media as a school participates in the festival.

This article is part 2 of 2, Thanks For Tuning in..

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