Reclaiming our dignity.

1 May

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A few weeks ago saw the emergence of a number of women coming forward and speaking out on sexual harassment and intimidation within the South African TV & film industry. Like in many incidents of sexual harassment, there have been a number of men who have been known to be preforming such acts and through their use of power, they have seemed to escape persecution. In most cases they use the intimidation tactics, threats and undermining the survivor saying that they would not be taken serious and that there is a stigma attached to women who speak out. In many cases they use the excuse that they would not find work in the industry again as many producers and directors will not work with difficult women who ‘talk too much’. On hearing these allegations, I could empathise with the women as I had been in that position on a number of occasions and in some instance tried to speak out, so when I saw the name Khalo Matabane, I could therefore speak from my personal experience, adding weight to the truth of the other allegations. I shared my story of how Khalo called me a cock teaser as he believed that I was leading him on. To be honest I was very friendly to him and I allowed him to put his arm around me and hold me as I thought he was homosexual and therefore I felt safe with him, little did I know there were ulterior motives. Many of us have stood up in solidarity with these women and as always there are those men and women who question their allegations, despite some of these people knowing that the rumours have been circulating for years. I then decided that I needed to lend my voice as I too was affected in a small way. I feel pain and anger for the women that he harassed, assaulted and raped. I believe them and send as much love to them as possible.
The full story can be found via:
https://city-press.news24.com/Voices/rosie-motenes-metoo-statement-20180429

https://city-press.news24.com/News/khalo-matabane-women-speak-out-20180429

On Monday 30 April 2018 I was interviewed on POWERFM on this topic, I was part of a panel of other esteemed female media practitioners, Florence Masebe and Natalie Haarhoff.
One of the questions that the presenter asked me was what advice should I give to your actresses entering the industry, this is what I have to say and it is to just for women, it is for men and all people who identify as women.

1. Know your craft. Just like any other industry, you need to learn the tools of the trade. If you do not have access to educational institutions, then go online. There are many tutorials, youtube links on acting, TV work etc.

2. Know how the industry works. If you are an Instagram sensation, that does not automatically qualify you as an award winning actress. If you are approached by anyone to come an audition for a role in a movie or TV series, you have the right to ask many questions, these question should include the following:
* What is the name of the production company? That way you can see if the company really exists.
* What is the name of the production?
* What network will it be aired on? If the show has not been commissioned to a network then how will the production pay for it?
* Where is the casting? That way you can inform somebody that you will be attending should anything be wrong.

3. Get proper management.
* Your manager works for you.
* You should not have to pay your agent to go to auditions etc. The only thing you should pay for is pictures for your portfolio.
* Your agent/manager should only take a commission of work that he/she gets for you.
* They are there to protect you. Point in case my previous manager tried to persuade me from refusing sex and nude scenes, her threat was that they might not want to work with me again, if I talk too much, she also used the excuse that the ratings were high and I should reconsider. She no longer represents me.

4. Read your contract. Every standard South African contract should include a clause that states that you will NOT be expected to perform nude, semi-node etc. If it is not in the contract, question that.

5. Performing sex and nude scenes: If you do agree, there is nothing wrong with that but ensure that you are respected. There should be a pre-production meeting with yourself, the producer, wardrobe and the director to ensure that you are 100% comfortable in what you are doing. On the day it should be a closed set, that is no crew milling around whilst you are naked. Wardrobe should be on standby with a gown robe to cover you as soon as the scene is complete.

6. Join SAGA. http://www.saguildofactors.co.za they were incredibly supportive of me during my ordeal and with the channel they supported and understood my anguish.
saga

7. Join SWFIT http://www.swiftsa.org.za
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End.

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