iGazi star actress Vatiswa Ndara has rejected an offer from Ferguson Films to continue her role in the drama series’ Season 3.
Ndara made the revelation in a heartfelt open letter to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nath Mthethwa on Monday.
She said Ferguson Films offered her R110,000 before tax for five weeks of shooting. This amount would drop to R82,500 after tax, she said.
‘On set for 12 hours a day’
The talented actress said this amount isn’t much because the contract entails “limitless calls.” This means she could be on set for 12 hours a day, Monday to Saturday.
In addition, she would be unable to “seek further employment until this contract is concluded.” Some may therefore call this contract “daylight robbery,” she stated.
Ndara said while all she would get is R82,500, the production house and the channel “will continue to reap the financial benefits through repeat broadcasts, licensing deals and repackaging of the show.”
After two successful seasons, Ndara said she had expected an offer of at least R700,000. However, this figure “shocked the industry,” she added.
Not playing NomaRussia again
However, the actress didn’t back down. “Needless to say, I will not be portraying the character of NomaRussia on iGazi again,” she wrote.
Ndara added, “There appears to be a perception that actors should be grateful to be getting work in the first place, and in being grateful they should accept the same rates they were being offered in the early 2000s.”
Ndara called for a stakeholder engagement to discuss “concrete steps” such as establishment of an “independent central regulatory body to monitor the industry.”
In a tweet, Minister Mthethwa acknowledged receiving the open letter.
Fellow actors react
Ndara’s letter has drawn support from some of her fellow actors.
The Republic actress Flo Masebe tweeted, “We need more gatvol voices to call out the mess in the South African television industry. Thank you Vatiswa Ndara for your bravery. We have to stand with you. All of us.”
Fellow iGazi actor Anga Makubalo added, “Enkosi (thank you) Sis V let us pray that our cries will finally be heard.”