taking a stand for local content and our nation's voice

Night 7 – Gwen

Tonight I realised how forgiving weekends are. No one calling about the SABC, the hunger protest, , no one telling me how silly my participation in this protest is “for me”, how it will impact on my earnings – and that was a really polite way of putting that one!   No one calling in desperation – looking for a job , any job!   Mind you it could also be because I never answered the telephone.

I have not felt hungry at all. I would really like a nice glass of dry white to end the day, not having it is a great choice. I look at my children sleeping and know, just really know, that what I have embarked on is absolutely ok, and without a doubt absolutely the right thing to do…….not silly (so…thank you Mr Production House, I have thought on it and choose to continue, I really don’t want to represent your company after all).

I am a bit biased about the SABC, since I grew up on the newsroom floor at the SABC, my first interview was at the Colosseum interviewing Miss South Africa, I was 12 years old and I knew that if I did not do it someone would get fired!  As a little girl I watched how the SABC devoured people that did not tow the line. I have experienced on a personal level the mismanagement and dare I speak the words blatant corruption and yes I have seen how people have made money on the backs of others without acknowledgment or remorse.  As a young woman I was told that I would have a more lucrative career on TV than on radio.  It was like being hired for your legs and not your brain.  Now really – guess who did not pursue the former and took the road lesss travelled to a world inhabited by the most amazing people.

So again I acknowledge all those that have joined and support this protest and yes I acknowlege those that will join, it is fun!  It is taking a stand and making your voice heard.  It is about saying enough!  And yes it is good for the body (coming from a woman’s point of view).  It’s great for clarity of thought!  Its great knowing that when the chips are down, there of those we can stand up with and those we will never be seen in public  with again!  I am liberated by that alone!

The one thing I can say with confidence that besides the hunger protest being a “protest”, the process of actually doing it makes me feel great.

I have during the last 48 hours gone through moments of concern, worry, deep thought, laughter and crying – especially crying watching a great movie. Not once have I felt angry. Not even a little angry, not scratchy ….nada, zip, nothing.  I was exceptionally happy that not once did I pick up a Chuck re-run and the very  thought of that happening is depressing.  I choose not to be depressed.   No offence Chuck.

So tomorrow I will be intelligent, loving, understanding, fun and full of laughter, naturally I will be back at my desk, working my butt off, elegantly of course.

Maybe, just maybe someone will take note. I mean really how difficult can it be? All the SABC has to do is honour their agreement to commission and broadcast our stories, allow our stories to be made and told, keep our heritage alive.

So the SABC may have to tighten the belt or the sinew may need to stretch – it can be done. The very fabric of our society demands integrity and ethics and stories – we have a people that have the most amazing stories just waiting to be heard, we have a people eager to hear and watch.   We deserve nothing less – our history has been altered enough.  As a country we have come such a long way and I am so proud to have been a tiny part of that.  I am proud to be able to call my friend a friend and I am proud to be able to make my voice heard.

I was just thinking about the old Housewive’s Leauge and how they refused to buy butter and meat when the  the prices went up.  Those ladies got the prices down and fast ….what ever happened to that spirit!  Or do we prefer Chuck Lite – re-run at our leisure.  On that note I have to say that liberation could be a dangerous thing.  Imagine if we took our television licences and burnt them in a pile on the steps of the ivory towers – now that action would require Joan of Arc and would almost certainly be considered heresy!

Much love and here’s to a great week ahead.



  Rob Greaves wrote @

Wow Gwen, I didn’t know you were participating in a hunger protest… I didn’t take much notice of it when I briefly saw it on the news – I remember shaking my head in apathy towards what the SABC was behaving and the impact their actions had on the lives of many others down the line.

Many of my fellow colleages and producers gave up producing for SABC quite a while ago and have reaped their rewards from the influx of broadcasters like MSNBC opening up national offices in SA and the many new DSTV channels.

Not to sound discouraging at all towards the brave stance you are all taking, but I don’t believe fighting an already decrepid SABC is a cause worth “dying for” – especially if you or anyone else doing the same have children who need a father or mother to grow up with. Nevertheless, I hope SABC takes your message seriously.

Anyway, my attitude towards ever wanting to do work for SABC is as good as bothering to flog a dead horse right now… I’d rather secure the future of my livelihood in the alternative channels until SABC cleans up their act.

All the best in your endevour!

  gwenbritz wrote @

Thanks for the support Rob. I promise you that I have no intention of leaving my children without a mother:) and I certainly will not die (from fasting that is) – in fact this has been one of the greatest experiences I have had – detox for the SABC 🙂 who would have thought?

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