• Well-known SA actor Vatiswa Ndara alleges exploitation by Ferguson Films

    JOHANNESBURG – Well-known actress Vatiswa Ndara has taken to Twitter to voice her displeasure on being exploited by Ferguson Films.

    The former Generations actor said she has been offered a contract by the company owned by Shona and Connie Ferguson for a gig on Mzansi Magic’s Igazi.

    It is reported that the production was due to start on Tuesday, but lead actress Ndara will not be on set because she is offered R110 000 for a five-week shoot by the production house.

    To voice her concerns, Ndara who played NomaRussia, revealed her sadness in a six-part open letter to Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

    In the letter posted on Twitter, Ndara wrote that her spirit was broken as artists were not respected or properly paid.

    According to the contract, she would have to be available at all times and for fitting and makeup tests ahead of production. 

    Ndara said she rejected the offer as there was no guarantee she would receive residuals, she would not be able to look for other work until the contract was over and she would not be paid for her time when going for fittings, attending public relations events or media interviews.

    She said the contract required limitless calls, which meant she could be expected to be on set for up to 12 hours a day from Monday to Saturday.

    Meanwhile, M-Net has released a statement, stating that they are aware of the letter penned by the disgruntled actress.

    “MultiChoice Group (MCG) is aware of an open letter penned by Ms. Vatiswa Ndara to the Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture regarding remuneration and the rights of performing artists.  

    “It is important to note that broadcasters commission the production of shows, by entering into contractual relationships with production companies. Actors, in turn, are contracted by those production companies and agree to contractual terms, including fees, duration of the contracted period, number of episodes and working hours, among others, directly with the production companies. There is no direct contractual relationship between broadcasters and actors.”

    Speaking to SABC News on Tuesday afternoon, Ndara said actors and artists were dying poor because ‘something is wrong’.

    “Why is it that every time when an artist dies they don’t have money. So it’s always been there, but what people need to know is that we don’t live the glamorous life, it’s not that at all,” she said.

    “We work very long hours and most of the time, we don’t get paid what is due to us. In 2019, I am still being offered rates of 2005, so, for us, it is almost as if inflation and the cost of living, those things are not considered.”

    The veteran actress said she had rejected Ferguson Films alleged R110 000 offer because she was tired. She had made a demand of up to R700 000, which was rejected, insisting that she would not appear on Season 3 of Igazi. 

    “I am angry at myself because I think we allow it because we are scared at not getting the next loaf of bread. We’ve always been raising these things, but then we also ask ourselves who are we going to run to, because sometimes when you go to your agent they tell you ‘oh stop it’,” she expressed.

    Meanwhile, Minister Nathi Mthethwa responded to the letter on Twitter, writing: “Good day Vatiswa, thank you for taking the time to write this letter. This is to confirm it has been received.” 

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