Actress Natasha Thahane topped the Twitter trends on Saturday and Sunday following her appearance on MacG’s Podcast & Chill where she revealed that she received funds from the government after reaching out to politician Baleka Mbete.
The 26-year-old Natasha, who is the granddaughter of Desmond Tutu said on Podcast & Chill that when she went to study in the United States (US) in 2017, she need help to finance her studies at the New York Film Academy.
Thahane said she could not ask for a whole year’s funding (which cost around a million rand) and ended up asking for one semester’s fees.
Thanks to her connections, Natasha said Baleka Mbete, who was the speaker of parliament and the ANC chairperson at the time, helped her to get the funding at Arts and Culture Department. It’s not clear how the process went and how much the actress was offered.
“I asked Mam’ Baleka (Mbete) and was like, ‘Mama, I need to go back to school. I’ve been accepted… I don’t know what I’m going to do, can I have funds? Please arrange something for me.’ She managed to speak to (the department) Arts and Culture and they were able to help me,” Natasha explained to MacG.
Social Media slammed Natasha’s way of getting funds while ‘other students are supposed to go through long processes including Affidavits and NSFAS’.
Watch Natasha Tahane’s full interview with MacG
Explaining later on her Twitter account, Natasha defended herself saying there was nothing sinister about the way she acquired her study funds, and that she also tried other means which did not work out until the school assisted her to get in contact with the department.
OneSA’s leader Mmusi Maimane also weighed on the matter saying Minister of Arts & Culture Nathi Mthethwa should explain how the funding process was undertaken. “Funding for education must come through the proper channels and must be allocated according to need,” Maimane said.