Best Of The Web: South Africans Express Their Thoughts On #OpenUpTheIndustry

On Wednesday 28th April (which also happened to be Freedom Day) South Africans took to twitter to express their two cents worth under a very interesting hashtag, #OpenUpTheIndustry. The dialogue was sparked by MTV Africa's announcement that South African actress/TV presenter, Boity Thulo, as one of the hosts of Ridiculousness Africa alongside Thomas Gumede and Nigeria's Basketmouth. There has always been opinions expressed about recycling of talent within the entertainment industry, specifically on traditional mediums such as television and radio. In a nutshell, the conversation was about a call for new faces in the sector.

  Some of the views that were shared:

I like this tweet from Thando Thabethe
And then Zama went and hit the nail on the head. This is so true!
I strongly believe in working with what you have. Sibongile and Poppy's views reminded me of just that.

On the same day, 702 hosted South African television host, radio personality and business woman, Bonang Matheba who needs no introduction, Creative Director Viacom Africa / Channel Director for MTV Base, Tim Horwood and Bomb Productions casting director Kutlwano Ditsele.

 One of the points that stood out for me, Tim said there are some decision makers in the industry who are not knowledgeable enough hence they end up making the wrong call. He also mentioned that some people's looks and a huge social media following are sometimes taken into consideration. Much as most people in the industry weighed in on the issue-at-hand, this conversation needs to involve decision makers like TV stations and production companies who have the final say on hosts or acts on what show other than attacking the talent. They too have bills to pay and the industry is of a very fickle nature, however, this doesn't dispel the fact that new talent needs to be given a chance.

 So if you want to be part of this highly sought after industry, please do your research, know why you want to be there in the first place. I'm saying this because I have spoken to a number of people about why they want to be in the entertainment industry and boy you won't believe their response! FAME. Some people just want to be in the industry for fame; little do they know this is a profession too.

 That said, the industry ought to be regulated. Like Shaka Sisulu mentioned in his tweet, the industry is open. I think so too. Well, to a certain extent. This industry is where you find most people without a particular qualification nor training and zero experience but they still get through. Of course it may not be easy but you can't just wake up and be a Chartered Accountant or a Lawyer but here someone can make something of themselves regardless of the latter.
All in all, if this is the industry you want to be part of, get ready to work your butt off honey boo boo because it's no walk in the park. There's more to it than the glamour you see on TV and also, it is important to bear in mind that, if you really did your research, you will understand there's more opportunities than being in front of the camera. Production shouldn't be under looked. In fact, many will tell you that's where the money is. Yes, you can be a producer/director etc. The media industry is very hard to break into but I'm a strong believer in every dog has its day and when opportunity meets preparation, nothing can stand in your way; keep working hard, also remember your network is your net worth (When it's the right network that is) and professionalism goes a long way.

Side note: the same people demanding new faces complained when Ayanda Mpama hosted Our Perfect Wedding. She was good and did her thing but still she was replaced. What new faces are these people looking for?

 Follow the hashtag for more insights on this topic. I'm certain this conversation will carry on.
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