Battle lines have been drawn between Muvhango Actors and the show’s producers after the actors were told to get vaccinated against Covid-19 if they wants to keep their jobs. The Sunday World reported that the Muvhango soapie creator, Duma Ndlovu, gave a challenge to the cast and crew that their contracts will only be renewed upon being jabbed.
Ndlovu threw down the gauntlet to actors and technical staff during a meeting to discuss severity measures to control company costs in the new financial season and to minimize the spread of Covid-19. Three sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Muvhango actors had appalled against Ndlovu’s ultimatum and said it violated their constitutional rights.
They have also allegedly pleaded with the SABC, which is the owner of Muvhango, to intervene. “With so much debate going on about the safety of the vaccines, the actors are reluctant to get the jab, so they feel that Ndlovu is being unfair by forcing them to vaccinate if they want to keep their jobs,” said the source.
The actors seem to believe that the vaccine would interfere with their libido, paralyze or alter their DNA, the source said. The actors, who have been at home as the producers and the SABC were negotiating new contracts, will resume their shooting schedule next month. A crew member also confirmed that Duma told the cast and crew members that their contracts would not be renewed if they did not vaccinate.
“We throw our full weight behind Duma, no vaccine, no contract. The actors are role models and they should lead by example. If they vaccinate publicly, that will encourage many people to inoculate, and the country will reach herd immunity quickly so that we can start rebuilding our economy, which has been tanked by this virus.
“There are so many actors who died of Covid-19-related complications since the outbreak of the pandemic and they should learn from that,” said the crew member.
Actors who died of coronavirus-related complications include Shona Ferguson, Aubrey Moalosi, Frans Marx, Ben Kruger and Lieb Bester. SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu declined to comment saying questions should be directed to Word of Mouth Pictures, which produces the multi-lingual soapie.
“Please note that these questions must be directed to Word of Mouth as this is an employer and employee matter.
“As Word of Mouth is an independent production house, they are the ones who hire cast and crew,” said Mthembu.
Muvhango’s publicity specialist Thanduxolo Jindela said the decision was prompted by millions of rends the company lost as a result of cast and crew taking sick leave after contracting the coronavirus. “The company had to reschedule shooting dates and was forced to work overtime to catch up because we were behind schedule.
“This ballooned production costs,” he said. Jindela also said they also wanted to create a healthy and safe work environment for all the cast and crew. “It is also the constitutional right of other citizens to feel safe in the environment they work in,” Jindela added.
It remains to be seen if the Muvhango actors against vaccination will return to our screens next month.