ENISIA Mashusha, the founder of all-female dance troupe, Mambokadzi, yesterday said there was need to humanise the entertainment space making it more user-friendly to women in the arts, as most of them end up victims of sexual abuse.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Mashusha danced her way to stardom after establishing the all-female dance ensemble, Mambokadzi, which won the hearts of many between 2005 and 2010, with their energetic performances.
Speaking to NewsDay from the United Kingdom where she is currently on tour, the actress, dancer and choreographer said the government must support and empower women in the performing arts.
“It is sad that talented women in performing arts have to hustle, if they are to make it. The government must come up with strategies to empower women in the arts, so that they can salvage something for better livelihoods from their efforts,” she said.
“Talented female artistes end up quitting the industry or being used as sex objects by their male counterparts, as they will be
trying to make ends meet. It is high time the government looked into it and see how best they can assist women in art.”
Mashusha said the majority of women in the industry earned “peanuts” and are at the mercy of male promoters.
“Women in arts receive peanuts, causing some of them to fall into the trap of being abused by the promoters so as to get more shows [but], if they can get a direct fund from the government, then they will be empowered.”
Mashusha said it was worrisome that many female artistes were forced to shelve their dreams after marriage because their husbands would not support their talents, adding that society must respect rather than ridicule them as people of loose morals.
“Women who have decided to venture into showbiz as a profession have been branded as loose prostitutes and sex workers,” she said.
“This negative and destructive societal attitude has seen most talented women, especially dancers dropping out of the performing arts industry.”