Theatre practitioner and film maker, Mthokozisi Zulu, gives us a view from South Africa during the pandemic.
Before Covid19, I had three gigs lined up. This easily meant that I would be able to pay for 5 month’s rent and use the rest for groceries, car insurance etc. Naturally, all these gigs got cancelled and I found myself relying on the Relief promised by the government. I am still waiting for that relief.
Maybe it’s a coincidence but, of all the 7 people that I know have gotten this relief, there’s not a single black person. They are all white. I hate to have noticed this but I cannot ignore it when I am in great need for this relief.
Maybe they know that people with the same skin as me won’t contend them as much as the 7 above would have. Maybe they know that the majority of black performers don’t even have the data to check emails and keep appealing.
Anyway, I am applying for funding for a project of mine (a show I wrote) but I’m not even excited about it since we now have to think of ways to go online. The love that got me writing and acting in theatre is being tested as that live and face to face interaction is not possible right now. However, I still have to pay rent and I still have to eat so, my calling has become no different than if I got a nine to five office job, except, I’m still looking.