Gospel star Deborah Fraser begs for COVID-19 relief money
Gospel star Deborah Fraser has appealed to arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa for assistance as the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the livelihood of artists.
Fraser, who is known for her hit song Hamba Sathane, is among the thousands of artists who submitted their applications for the relief fund set up by the department, but her application was among those yet to be approved.
“I personally have applied and never got any response and I am wondering why others got the relief money and others did not. The department needs to address this,” Fraser said.
She added: “I work with a lot of artists because we live like a family in the gospel industry.”But, the past two months have been hard for artists. If the situation is not changing artists are going to lose their houses and cars.”
Fraser said she had even tried to share “whatever I have with others because I have a vegetable garden and livestock”.
The department’s relief fund, which received thousands of applications, has not been able to assist many artists who say they have now become destitute.
Many artists, especially those who are part of music groups, backing vocalists, and veterans say since the Covid-19 lockdown began their situation had worsened. Others have pointed out that they now survived through pension grants of their parents.
The artists who spoke to Sowetan included, among others, Condry Ziqubu, Portia Masinga, Phumi Maduna, William Mthethwa, Ntombi Mtshali, Bongani Nkwanyana and Majoy.
Masinga, a backing vocalist who lives with her parents and her son, told Sowetan that her entire family survives on her father’s pension grant now.
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