JOHN KANI pays tribute to the late PETER MAGUBANE and asks the Government to set aside funds to support artists

Friday, January 12, 2024
 – Dr John Kani has called on the Government to support cultural artists.

While speaking at the funeral of esteemed photojournalist Dr. Peter Magubane in Bryanston, the veteran actor and playwright passionately urged the ANC-led Government to establish a dedicated fund for ‘struggle and cultural artists’ who significantly contributed to the anti-apartheid movement.

“I think we should have the veterans of the cultural Struggle (cultural diplomacy), that will give us an opportunity to honour the likes of Peter Magubane.”

“We need to look after them; they cannot depend on Sassa and the R350; we owe them much more.”

Dr Kani highlighted the challenges faced by veterans of the cultural Struggle and pointed out their role in pressuring the apartheid regime through various artistic mediums.

He called for collaboration with the Minister of Arts and Culture to establish a structure similar to the one supporting MK veterans.

“This structure will make sure that those who qualify—that we know their legacy and footprint—will be looked after in their sunset days, where they will be able to say I am not going to Sassa, I have my veterans pension to look after my family.”

Acknowledging the financial struggles of cultural artists, Kani revealed that there are ongoing efforts with Minister Zizi Kodwa to revitalise the Living Legends Trust.

He stressed the importance of recognising the legacy and footprint of these artists, ensuring they receive adequate support in their later years.

Dr. Kani shared a personal story of how Dr. Magubane’s photographic documentation potentially saved his life during his 1972 arrest. 

“I remember when I was arrested in Butterworth in 1972 for putting on a play. We were arrested for furthering the aims of communism, and I said I did a play for crying out loud.”

“And then, when I was in my cell for the 20th day, I saw a piece of paper from the Daily Dispatch with them dragging me. It was the first time I fell asleep because that photograph meant they could not kill me because the world knows they have me. That was the work of Peter Magubane,” Kani said.

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