EDITORIAL | Mthethwa, give artists the help Surtie-Richards was ...

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EDITORIAL | Mthethwa, give artists the help Surtie-Richards was denied

She leaves a gaping void in SA. May her plight spur the state to give the artistic community the funds it promised it

When iconic actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards was found dead in her guest house room on Monday morning, she was just getting her career back on track. She was in Cape Town where she had landed a role in the popular soapie Arendsvlei, a fictional coloured community with all its intricacies and secrets.

She was a trailblazer, from that first starring role in Fiela se Kind in 1988, through Nenna in M-Net’s first local soapie Egoli, to most recently another film offering a slice of life in Swirl. Yet, as with many South African artists, her extraordinary talent and achievements provided cold comfort against the ravages of the pandemic. And she experienced it from both sides — as an out-of-work actress and having contracted the virus.

In April this year, in a frank interview with Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport, she opened up about her financial struggles, as well as her battle with Covid-19...

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