By: Natasha Archary
South African actress Natasha Thahane has been trending all day on Saturday for implicating former Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete for funding her studies.
Speaking in an episode of MacG’s podcast and chill, Natasha shared that her studies were covered by over R1 million by government.
Reaching out to Baleka Mbete in 2017 helped secure Natasha funding to study at the New York Film Academy.
She tells MacG that she simply “made a call to mam’ Baleka” and told her that she needed money to study.
According to Natasha, the politician then arranged with the Department of Arts and Culture funding in excess of R1 million.
Loooool yavele yacula ingane bakit n ibabiza ngamagaama🥲🥲🥲 pic.twitter.com/poMLEY8Qw2
— Sigujana 🛡 (@Sigujana_ZA) November 26, 2021
Baleka Mbete was the speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa from May 2014 to May 2019 and the ANC Chairperson at the time.
South Africans were infuriated this weekend after the podcast was shared and called Desmond Tutu’s granddaughter privileged.
“While others complete application forms, Nathi Mthethwa department gave her money because she is a granddaughter of Desmond Tutu,” tweeted one user.
Natasha responded to the backlash by sharing emails she’d sent to the department without a response until Baleka intervened.
“I applied for funding, no one responded. Until the school assisted me get in contact with the department. I even emailed Barack Obama’s Foundation hoping I’d get assistance,” Natasha tweeted.
Her explanation fell on deaf ears as most South Africans felt both parties needed to be held accountable for their methods.
“Natasha sharing how she got funding is how privilege works ke guys. And for many children of these struggle stalwarts, the state is their mini purse. The rest of us will sign one million application forms, bona they go “mama, I need funding” and arts and culture comes through,” tweeted @miss_andisa
The actress is currently dating Thembinkosi Lorch.