Vatiswa Ndara Calls The Fergusons Exploiters In Her Open Letter

Vatiswa Ndara Calls The Fergusons Exploiters In Her Open Letter -Surge Zirc SA
Vatiswa Ndara and The Fergusons/Photo File: Surge Zirc Media

Veteran actress Vatiswa Ndara has made shocking allegations of actors being abused and unfair treatment by production houses in South Africa, particularly accusing Ferguson Films of exploiting actors while they bag millions

Vatiswa Ndara announced that she will not be returning for season 3 of the hit DStv show iGazi.

Ndara penned down her decision in a very sombre letter to sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa.

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In a six-page letter, Ndara raised questions on what Mthethwa’s vision 2020 would be for actors saying the arts were woefully undervalued.

The “iGazi” star details some of the unfair labour practices, poor remuneration, poor working conditions and unfair treatment by producers and others.

In a lengthy letter, which Mthethwa posted on his official Twitter account, Ndara wrote: “I come forth, not as a clever black seeking relevance, as it does not deliver a dime, nor does it stand to benefit me.

“At the risk of public shame, humiliation and salacious headlines, not to mention alienation from peers and possible blacklisting from the powers that be in the sector, I humble myself in expressing the truth of my experience in the arts and entertainment industry and publicly exposing the depth of my frustrated and broken spirit.”

She continued with a quote from an email sent by Ferguson Films’s offering her a contract for the third season of the hard-hitting drama series “iGazi” where she played NomaRussia. The character that Mzansi love to hate.

Minister, in this sixth administration, the department of sports and arts and culture have been merged into one. And what is evident about sports is that the women and men in this sector are highly prized, valued and respected by this patriotic country. Not so with the arts,” she said.

Ndara made mention of what her contractual agreement would be if she had taken up the offer for the iGazi 3 series from Ferguson Films.

The third season is due to be shot between October 8 and November 9.

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“Ferguson Films is officially starting iGazi 3 and we would like to offer Vatiswa a global contract for iGazi 3 at R110,000 (before tax) for the duration of the shoot (five weeks).  No limit to calls, first call exclusive to us,” the production company said.

Ndara listed why the contractual agreement was problematic:

  1. The payment was yet to be taxed;
  2. Actors are not able to seek further employment until the contract was completed;
  3. Non-compensation for work-related activities, such as wardrobe fittings, make-up, public relations and media interviews;
  4. Limitless calls – actors can be on set from Monday to Saturday, sometimes for up to 12 hours a day; and
  5. Up to 18 scenes could be shot in one day.

Ndara said she would only get R82,500 after-tax while the channel and production houses would get financial remuneration for repeat broadcasts, licensing deals and repackaging of the show.

We aren’t sure if her letter was brewed by envy as she mentioned that the Fergusons’s leave in a lavish house and drive the latest German machines whilst she cannot afford any of those.

Meanwhile, we all know that the Fergusons started somewhere, they had to quit their jobs at SABC and use their money, to start production. It wasn’t easy two of their first projects failed dismally now they are blamed for normal standard rates, hmmmm. You can read the heartfelt letter below.

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Detailed analyst and a constructive content developer at Surge Zirc SA