Performing at political rallies is risky for artists – Thabo Mnguni

As the campaigns ramp up for the general elections this year, political parties are turning to celebrities and musicians to entice voters.

However, accepting offers from some political parties can have risk-reward implications for certain artists, such as Thabo Mnguni of Uzalo.

In the SABC1 weekday drama, Mnguni portrays the mediocre character of the controversial Mfundisi Mbatha.

He claims he is afraid to take certain jobs because he will be associated with or labelled as a supporter of that specific political party.

I survive by hustling

“As an artist, I am in a tricky situation. I survive by hustling and hunting work everywhere; I don’t have a permanent income,” said Mnguni.

“As a freelancer, I accept any kind of work from anyone who makes a good offer. I say this because I end up not knowing what to do if I’ve been approached by a certain organisation for their campaigns.

“I find it hard to accept an offer because I am labelled as a member of that organisation.”

The former Generations and Family Bonds actor went on to say that the political party he belongs to is selective, saying that it only hires its favourites for the gigs.

“So that’s why I say, please, I don’t expect anyone to judge or question me about who I work with.

“Any organisation that brings work, I will fully accept, but not the ones that are associated with racism; I don’t work with those. Please, my politicians, respect my hustling.”

While Mnguni finds himself uncertain about which party to support in the campaign, prominent actor Sibonile Ngubane has publicly announced his support for the recently established Umkhonto we Sizwe Party.

Support for new party backed by Zuma

Ngubane, who portrays Difa Gumede in Mzansi Magic’s Umkhokha: The Curse, has been spotted openly campaigning for the party backed by Jacob Zuma, which split from the ANC.

The bearded former Isibaya, Uzalo, and Estate actor said. “I am not ashamed to tell people that I have joined the Umkhonto we Sizwe Party.

“The formation of this party has restored faith and given me hope that things will change for the better.”

He would not disclose why he ditched his former political party, only calling for people to register to vote in order for their voices to be heard.

Some have opined that for celebrities to endorse a political party, it could be compromising and damaging to their brands.

Some, however, see nothing wrong with it because, as a democratic nation, South Africa allows celebrities to openly express their support for any political party.

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