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Other Articles from The Villager

The perpetual charity case

Mon, 18 May 2015 13:54
by Faith Haushona-Kavamba

Kwashiorkor bellies filled with nothing but air and persistent flies molesting the eyes of starved orphans too weak to swat the away, this has become the most popular imagery associated the starving masses in Africa.
However, I am of the mind that the individuals portrayed in these images would have more pride than some people in our entertainment industry.
They would have the pride to pass down charity and much rather do some form of work for which they would be remunerated.
It is the people who have in abundance who would much rather have someone else foot their bill, than fork out a single red penny from their own pockets.
A group of artists travelled to the north last weekend for a show which was organised by everyone’s’ favourite gospel artist.
For the very reason that it was by his invitation, some artists decided that they would not fork out a penny of their own money to by themselves anything, not even a N$10 bottle of water.
This was the message conveyed by some of those present, and while this might sound far-fetched, I’m not surprised and inclined to believe these claims.
Both journalists and artists are notorious for their love of freebees. Major organisations have had to learn the hard way that you can never invite them to any event without compensating them in one form or another for their “hard work” of merely showing up.
They will chew you out, drink up all your alcohol and spit on your company’s’ logo out of spite and sheer disappointment for the lack of a gift bag.
Perhaps this comes from my self-serving bias, but I do understand why companies give journalists freebies.
It is a way of bribing the journalist without having money actually change hands, and the journalists accept it, convincing themselves that they will not be bought over with meagre gifts. It is a tradition as old as the profession itself.
It has become the norm were journalists are involved, not that I condone it. I chose to look at it as an unofficial barter agreement between the two parties.
However, what I fail to reconcile is the idea of artists receiving freebies, not from corporate companies, but from each other.
Expecting that same treatment from someone whose struggle you are familiar with because it happens to be your own is just selfish.
A colleague tried to do a good thing by including you in their project that would benefit you because you would receive renumeration for it, but you also expect them to pay for your stick of gum?
The very people who advocate for unity in the industry are the very same who are this selfish. Unity would be suggesting you cover your own transport and food costs, or asking to pay for your half of all the costs because at the end of the day, you will receive proceeds from the show.
The next time you stretch out your hand to receive charity, ask yourself if there is something you can do in return, after all, one hand washes the other.-