Ailing Studio 263 actress Pretty Xaba could not hide her emotions as she received an air ticket from Affirmative Action Group (AAG) to enable her fly out to India for treatment.
The ticket was handed over at her lodgings in Eastlea, Harare, by AAG representatives last Friday.
Harare Province AAG president Liberty Bizure said as an economic lobby group, they were moved by Pretty’s plight.
“Pretty has been entertaining us for a long time and as businesspeople, we should be supportive of our artistes in times of need.
“As an affirmative group, we are not elitist we are connected to our roots. People like Pretty worked tirelessly to make us glued to our small screens, and this is only a way of showing gratitude to our artistes,” he said.
Bizure assured Pretty that AAG founding fathers such as Phillip Chiyangwa and Esau Mupfumi were empathetic towards her as she passes through this excruciating phase in her life. AAG spokesperson Trevor Jakachira said the organisation was humbled after it was approached to do something about Pretty’s plight.
“It shows that people have faith in us. As businesspeople, we should not just rejoice in dealing with artistes when there is an opportunity to make money. Even in troublesome seasons, we must feel moved to do something,” he said.
The actress, who was having difficulties speaking, only managed to say ‘thank you’.
However, she could not control her emotions as she kept crying during the preoceeding. She had to be consoled by fellow artiste, Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Xaba was diagnosed with cancer, and she is supposed to have the cancerous tumour in her oesophagus removed in India.
The whole exercise requires $10 000.
Addressing artistes and stakeholders at Book Café, AAG national President Chamu Chiwanza made a compelling appeal to the corporate world so that they assist artistes in case misfortunes befall them.
“I make a strong appeal to the corporate world to help artistes in their times of need, and not to exploit them only when they are in perfect health.
“For instance, look at the late Nevernay Chinyanga (alias Muwengwa) and Mukadota, they died paupers and yet their faces were used on company billboards and in television commercials.
“The corporate world must feel obliged to support artistes all the way, a case in point is Mai Muwengwa (Pretty Xaba). She has had voice overs on several radio commercials and it boggles the mind that we are looking for $10 000 to save her life, yet she played an important role in building images and corporate branding for several companies,” said Chiwanza.
“We have companies that lure Nigerian artistes for their beer festivals and we have never seen Nigerian companies reciprocating, arts industry thrives on sponsorship and the corporate world must refrain from exploiting artistes and later dump them,” he added.
Source: The Zimbabwe Mail