[Debate] Castro Ngobese's full Sowetan article
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
Sat Jun 13 07:59:12 BST 2009
*Soapies perpetuate inequality*
*Sowetan, 12 June 2009**
FRANK TALK - Castro Ngobese*
SOAPIES suck! Despite this majority of South Africans, in particular the
youth, are in love and obsessed with soapies such as Rhythm City, Scandal
and Generations. What role do these soapies play in our ongoing critical
task of building a society envisaged in the Freedom Charter?
What are we, as the youth , doing in contesting the capitalist social life
that is being implanted or transmitted to our people on a daily basis by the
SABC and e.tv through soapies?
We need to vigorously respond to such questions, within the broader
political frame of building a Freedom Charter-based society and ultimately a
Even the Freedom Charter does not devote a single sentence to the
transformation of the media. That in itself is alarming.
The Nationalist Party government and its ideologues made use of the media,
particularly the SABC, to inject or transmit to society their racial and
social-engineering message to the minds people .
It is undeniable that we live in a new epoch and terrain.
We need to use the media to bolster and reinforce the kind of society we are
Marxism teaches us that soapies are programmes created for the elites for
their own enjoyment and amusement.
Their core function is that of reinforcing capitalist logic and morals which
are necessary for the reproduction of a dog-eat-dog society.
This then helps to maintain the status quo which bolsters the dominance of
the ruling class.
This means that soapies that are being flighted on our television screens on
a daily basis are meant to defocus the working class and the poor youth from
the primary struggle – the class struggle.
The ruling classes are using the SABC and e.tv as a communication tool to
suppress and defocus the working class youth from their fundamental struggle
and immediate demands.
Marx saw an analogy between ideas purported or transmitted via the media and
the processes that typify its social order. Thus in the German Ideology he
illustrates how the ruling class uses organs of class rule to buttress their
The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas ... as
they rule as a class and determine the extent and compass of an epoch.
It is self-evident that they do this in its whole range, hence among other
things rule also as thinkers, as producers of ideas, and regulate the
production and distribution of the ideas of their age: thus their ideas are
the ruling ideas of the epoch.
One wonders if we did not have soapies would we have people like Khanyisile
Mbau. Mbau is a classic depiction of the false world promoted by these
· *Castro Ngobese is the spokesperson of the Young Communist League .*
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