Ra­dio spat over Nde­bele ‘for­eign­ers’

CityPress - - News - PHUMLANI S LANGA phumlani.sithebe@city­press.co.za

Two Mpumalanga mu­si­cians have ac­cused a Metro FM mu­sic com­piler of call­ing them “for­eign­ers” and telling them that the sta­tion will not play their mu­sic be­cause of that.

Nde­bele Move­ment, a band con­sist­ing of Chiloane Sha­gashe (28) and Mandla Masango (26), of Ver­ena, ac­cuse Nathi Nthangeni of telling them: “You guys are for­eign­ers. Your mu­sic is foreign and we have never play-listed mu­sic with Nde­bele con­tent on Metro FM.”

Nthangeni al­legedly made the com­ment in the re­cep­tion area of the SABC’s Ra­dio Park building a year ago. The band has been em­broiled in an on­go­ing wran­gle with the sta­tion. Me­di­a­tion ef­forts broke down last month, fol­low­ing un­suc­cess­ful meet­ings with Metro FM bosses.

How­ever, SABC spokesper­son Kaizer Kganyago re­jected the duo’s al­le­ga­tions as “trib­al­is­tic and ridicu­lous”.

He said they had been ha­rass­ing Metro FM man­age­ment to play their mu­sic, which did not fit the sta­tion’s cri­te­ria.

Masango said Nthangeni’s al­leged com­ments left them feel­ing of­fended, hu­mil­i­ated and dis­crim­i­nated against. “Our dig­nity and pride were in­jured in a mat­ter of sec­onds,” he said. Nthangeni is one of 13 mu­sic com­pil­ers dis­ci­plined af­ter be­ing im­pli­cated in a foren­sic re­port on pay­ola – pay­ing com­pil­ers or dee­jays to play cer­tain mu­sic – com­mis­sioned by the SABC’s for­mer chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng. None of the com­pil­ers was dis­missed, but they were given fi­nal writ­ten warn­ings.

Sha­gashe and Masango sent two of their tracks to Metro FM for play-list­ing and asked for a meet­ing with Nthangeni when they re­ceived no air­time. “We got the shock of our lives when he told us we were for­eign­ers and our mu­sic con­tent did not fit on Metro FM. He re­quested that we send an­other song, which we did im­me­di­ately. Af­ter fol­low­ing up, they failed to pro­vide feed­back,” Sha­gashe claimed.

Nde­bele Move­ment’s mu­sic has been played on iKwek­wezi FM, Motswed­ing FM and a num­ber of com­mu­nity ra­dio sta­tions.

The two said they spent 10 months ask­ing why their mu­sic was re­jected, as well as for an apol­ogy for Nthangeni’s al­leged com­ments. Kganyago says they could pro­vide no proof. “They are ly­ing. We did not re­ject their mu­sic be­cause they are Nde­bele. We do not care. Mu­sic is judged by qual­ity as well as the cri­te­ria our ra­dio sta­tions have,” he said. The sta­tion wrote to the two nu­mer­ous times and had no plans to meet them again.

“They mustn’t think tak­ing us to the papers will change the cri­te­ria. They need to un­der­stand that in life, things are ei­ther ac­cepted or re­jected.”

PHOTO: FRANCE FISCHE

HU­MIL­I­ATED Chiloane Sha­gashe and Mandla Masango

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