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“Chomee Statement on malicious attacks about NAC Funding”

Below unedited statement / letter by Chomie

 Chomee Statement on malicious attacks about NAC Funding 

It is indeed a sad day in South Africa and to be specific in the struggle to ensure gender parity, emancipate and uplift women in this country, when a woman is openly vilified by men in white-owned and controlled newsrooms because she applied for funding and was approved like all other thousand applicants who did the same thing. 

The question I am asking myself is: what did I do that is wrong or different as an applicant, to an open call for funding. Why am I in the newspapers and newsrooms and being questioned for doing what others did? 

Is it because I am not deserving of funding, or because I am a black woman? The list released shows women of all races who applied for the funding, got approved and some even received part payment, and no one is asking them anything, were they asked as to whom they dated before applying, or is it just me? 

I am an artist and since I was a six-year-old kid, I have graced stages locally, continentally, and internationally, I have released albums/CDs and the record of all my performances and music is public knowledge for anyone who is interested in a bit of factual information. 

I was affected by the lockdown like all other practitioners and lost a lot of work. Why then am I under this scrutiny? Is it because a black woman is not deserving of R2 million funding? Is it because a black woman cannot manage money or projects meant to empower other black women in the industry? 

June 01 2018 Chomee during the 24th annual South African Music Awards at Sun City in Rustenburg. Pic Veli Nhlapo/Sowetan

The PESP funding is for creating job opportunities and unfortunately, no journalist has to date asked me as to how many jobs am, I plan to create and where will these be created and who are the intended beneficiaries. 

It is falsely reported that I received R2 million and to date, I have not received a cent in my account to start this project. Why would a journalist not double-check such basic information with the NAC before believing their so-called faceless sources? Why are journalists using social media and unverified reports to write stories without doing simple research to check for facts? 

I am more not a victim of those who is slandering me and my name for no good reason, but more of a victim of bad journalism. 

I hope that one day in this country, women will be respected for who they are and not be treated and defined through the lens and eyes of men, but be seen for who they are, for the work they do, and the contribution they make to society without being attached to me.

Yours Faithfully Chomee

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