Award shows have become a platform for artists to voice their frustrations about their respective industries. Remember Riky Rick at the Metro FM Awards? Adele at the Grammys, and and and? Four Cape Town-based artists Mamela Nyamza, Chuma Sopotela, Buhlebezwe Siwani and Zikhona Jacobs joined the list of those artists during last night’s 52nd Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards at the Artscape in Cape Town.
The four women held up placards. One read, “70 nominees, 52 white nominees” while another read “#WhiteExcellence”. In a video posted on Facebook, a young woman can be seen unsuccessfully trying to block the artists as they walk outside the venue.
This morning, Mamela explained the reason for their protest. “Our protest was all about the gatekeeping, the discrimination, and indeed the dishonesty of the mainstream theatres of art in South Africa,” she wrote. “Under their watch, they allow elitist audience to strive for the elitist art and artists. Under their watch, they allow black people to be mis/used in the works of arts with no recognition awarded for their work. Hence the chosen costume we wore for our protest. As black people, we continue to be used as labourers, just like prostitutes on stage, and all accolades and high salaries go to the so-called directors and producers.”
Read her whole post below, and view the list of winners here.