Street performers need a leg up

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How would you like to work eight or more hours in the boiling hot summer sun performing on the street?

Last week I was driving up a long road and there were street performers at most of the traffic lights.

Some were in gold-coloured in costumes and others in work overalls balancing plastic crates. One can only admire them for their creative performances.

Some of the street workers wore reflective jackets and were directing the traffic during the load shedding. By the way, they were doing a better job of it than the regular traffic marshals. There were no traffic officers to be seen.

Taking a look at these street performers, I was astonished how much effort and passion they put into their work. They maintain big smiles on the faces despite the sweltering heat. But as you know their takings for the day are rather meagre.

Surely someone can support street performers? I know nothing about theatrical performances but there must be people in the know who could assist with training, costumes and props.

In this same week protesters were gathered in Pretoria to request the replacement of the minister of arts and culture. The protesters were alleging that the minister was an enemy of arts and culture and should be removed.

Against this background, it would seem pie in the sky to suggest that this ministry provides a leg up for street performers. Perhaps it could come from other quarters.

While large corporate‘s have cut back on thousands of people, small businesses have created employment for hundreds of thousands. Examples abound. One small shop I know of started by one woman has grown to employ 25 people. Twenty-five jobs created by one small businesses. Where do you see that these days in the corporate sector?

One knows that street performing is just one neglected area that desperately needs support. But why can’t we look endeavours such as this and see how support could be given to enthusiastic young people who put so much effort and talent into their work?

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