Gareth Cliff berated on show

Image taken from the Cliff Central website during a heated interview between host Gareth Cliff and Ntsiki Mazwai, as they addressed comments regarding freedom of speech vs hate speech on social media. Photo: Supplied / CliffCentral Site

JOHANNESBURG – DJ Gareth Cliff, who was recently fired from Idols SA for saying Penny Sparrow's comments about beachgoers in Durban constituted free speech, hosted poet and singer Ntsiki Mazwai as a guest on his radio show on Monday morning.

It was Gareth's first show since being sacked from Idols SA.

Ntsiki has been very vocal about Gareth's firing and his comments regarding freedom of speech and hate speech on social media.

Ntsiki:

I was surprised that you invited me. You might not like some of the things I have to say. We've all been socialised in a way that is working against us right now. What is coming to the fore for me is that white people don't realise that they're racist. How I interpret that is that white people never took the time learn the cultures, the languages and the peoples of this land. And I remember that at that debate (speaking about a previous TV show they were on) you were like 'it's not my culture, so it's not my business'. And I remember feeling like that's quite a dangerous position to put yourself in if you are in a land where you know for a fact that it's stolen land, and you haven't given back, and people have still forgiven you.

Gareth:

We may even disagree on whether it's stolen land. Because the fact of the matter is that our past was a violent and ugly episode.

Ntsiki:

So, how do you think that happened?

Gareth:

It happened because white people came here and in an armed, forceful way took what they want.

Ntsiki:

That's stealing.

Gareth:

But my problem is that you can't have five or six generations sorting this out. It's going to take a lot longer than that.

Ntsiki:

Ja, but we need to start trying. We need to start working on the mind now.

Gareth:

And please, my comment wasn't that I absolve myself. I was saying it's not my rules to follow someone else's culture – whether it was white or black.

Ntsiki:

I was happy (with your apology). You are getting better. It's a sickness. Racism is a sickness. White supremacy is a sickness.

Gareth:

But do you think I'm a racist?

Ntsiki:

I think you are a product of socialisation. And you're not the only one, you represent the white male face because you are in the forefront. I think you got a lot of backlash for something that should have been put to Penny Sparrow. This experience should sensitise you. And I'm happy that you got fired.

Gareth:

I know you are. I'm super sensitive. So don't you worry about that.

Ntsiki:

For many, many, many years, I mean I saw your issues – like 20 years ago – and I am glad that you finally got to a space where you are being made to confront some of the ways you think or speak about women or black people. I'm in the arts industry. I'm tired of earning less than men and white people.

Gareth:

I would've thought you are doing pretty well. Did you have to finance that whole thing (her new song) yourself?

Ntsiki:

I do everything myself. I don't have white privilege and white capital to come and do my CliffCentral.

Gareth:

I paid for all of this. Nobody helped me.

Ntsiki:

Yes, because you get paid a whole lot more as a white man.

Gareth:

Nobody paid me is my point. I'm still not running into profit. I have not made money.

Ntsiki:

But if we follow the money, Gareth, follow the money.

Gareth:

I had jobs. My first job was on campus radio. Then I went to another radio station and they paid me a salary, just like everyone else.

Listen to the full podcast.

 

The Juice

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