Tag Archives: Vatiswa Ndara

Fergusons on Ndara’s allegations: ‘A ploy to defame and tarnish our name’

Celebrity couple Shona and Connie Ferguson have finally responded to actress Vatiswa Ndara’s allegations against their production company, Ferguson Films.

In a statement posted by entertainment commentator Phil Mphela on Twitter on Wednesday, the Fergusons said the allegations are “misguided” and “a ploy to defame and tarnish” their name.

“The allegations towards Ferguson Films are consequently misguided, misdirected and misleading and can be seen as a ploy to defame and tarnish our name and reputation,” they wrote.

Ndara’s allegations

Ndara is popular for playing the role of NomaRussia in the popular telenovela iGazi, which is produced by Ferguson Films.

She posted an open letter on Twitter on Monday addressed to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa about her experience with Ferguson Films.

The actress said she had rejected an offer of R110,000 from the production company to continue her role on iGazi‘s Season 3.

She 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, Ndara said she would have earned R82,500 after tax while the production house and the channel “will continue to reap the financial benefits through repeat broadcasts, licensing deals and repackaging of the show.”

She claimed she had to return on set within days of laying to rest her late mother.

Contractual constraints

Shona and Connie Fergusons however said Ndara’s allegations “paint a false picture that may mislead the public.”

They said they tried to negotiate with Ndara and her agent about her R700,000 demand for the role to no avail.

They acknowledged that Ndara had “every right to decline” their R110,000 offer, adding they could not meet her demand because of “contractual constraints.”

The couple disputed Ndara’s claim that Ferguson Films benefits from repeat broadcasts and licensing deals.

They said, “Just like the actors, the production company is not guaranteed work, whether the show is performing or not. We are pretty much in the same boat as the artist.

“We do not own the shows we produce under commission and therefore have no right or say in what happens with shows post final delivery to the broadcaster.”

Ferguson Films was not the production company at the time of Ndara’s mother’s passing, they added.

No explanation owed on lifestyle

In her letter, Ndara said producers claim they have no budgets but “unashamedly display on social media their exorbitant material acquisitions.”

However, the Fergusons said they have other business interests besides their production company.

“[They] do not owe anyone an explanation as to how they manage their finances and lifestyle. The jab from Ms Ndara is petty, unnecessary and uncalled for,” they wrote.

The couple said the production company works within a budget for which it has to account to the broadcaster. It only earns a markup at the end of production, they added.

Fergusons ‘threaten legal action’ against Vatiswa Ndara over ‘wrongful’ allegations

Ferguson Films is considering taking legal action against actress Vatiswa Ndara over “wrongful” allegations contained in her open letter, The Star reports.

Ferguson Films is owned by celebrity couple Shona and Connie Ferguson, who haven’t personally commented on the letter yet.

However, through their lawyer Brendan de Kooker, they indicated on Tuesday that they could take Ndara to court.

In response to questions from The Star, de Kooker said, “The allegations made in the letter regarding our client are wrongful and published with the intention of causing our client harm.

“Our instructions are to consider possible legal action against Ndara and as such our client elects to refrain from answering your questions.”

Ndara’s open letter

Ndara is popular for her role as NomaRussia in Mzansi Magic’s drama series iGazi, which Ferguson Films produces.

In her open letter to Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa on Monday, she said she had rejected an offer of R110,000 from Ferguson Films to continue her role on iGazi‘s Season 3.

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, Ndara said she would have earned R82,500 after tax while the production house and the channel “will continue to reap the financial benefits through repeat broadcasts, licensing deals and repackaging of the show.”

She called for a stakeholder engagement to discuss “concrete steps” such as establishment of an “independent central regulatory body to monitor the industry.”

Debate rages on social media

Ndara has received plenty of support from several celebrities on social media, including fellow actors Sello Maake kaNcube, Rami Chuene, Kgomotso Christopher, and Flo Masebe.

Kgomotso Christopher tweeted, “Good morning to everyone…except those of you trying to justify the continued exploitation of ARTISTS & CREW, and those in power refusing to sign the #PPAB…it’s Tuesday and STILL #IstandWithVatiswa.”

However, some have jumped to the defence of the Fergusons. One of them was businessman Gayton McKenzie.

He also tweeted, “Be strong @Connie_Ferguson and @Shona_Ferguson. You have made many stars shine brighter; you have given many people breaks in life. The movie industry like all industries needs to become better for Blacks; this is a South African problem.”

iGazi star Vatiswa Ndara rejects ‘daylight robbery’ S3 offer from Ferguson Films

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.”