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Munghana Lonene yi nga hi rhobi – XMA14 is flawed.

We love Munghana Lonene, and we expect it to do right by Vatsonga.

The 14th Xitsonga Music Awards nomination list is not a true reflection of the current Tsonga Music scene. Hi nga rhobani.

Munghana Lonene gets away with a lot because those who call it out always never have evidence to back up their complaints or accusations. So during the month of December 2016 to January 2017, we recorded music that MLFM played during peak time – breakfast until drive time – in hourly intervals. The data shows that Munghana Lonene minimally plays the nominated songs ta the 14th Xitsonga Music Awards.

The Xitsonga Popular Song of the Year category is the biggest alarming category that shows that the nominations are flawed;

Xitsonga Most Popular Song of the Year Nominees

  • Ben 10                                       Tirhani Mabasa            
  • Suduwele                                  Sunglen Tshabalala    
  • Nyoresh                                    General Muzka                        
  • The Grace Band                      Ha ku khensa Yehova  
  • Khanimamba                          Themba Nyathi                       
  • Xipapilani                                Eckson Maluleke         
  • Wa Mina                                   Limpopo Roots            
  • Hanyelo ra Faro Part2           Forget Makhahlele      
  • Do like I do                              Makhongela                 
  • Mbilu ya mina                        Brian Bomba        

There is only one actual popular song on the above list, that is Khanimamba ya Themba Nyathi. The most popular song of 2015-2016 is Ku tirha Xisuti ya Hangalasa, and it is still popular and doing rounds to this day. However, it does not qualify because it came out on the 18th of November 2016. Still, Ku tirha Xisuti is not playlisted ka MLFM, the same goes for Na Hlohlonyiwa na Tlhava ya Russian Army and these are three of the biggest songs ta Xitsonga throughout Tsonga Spaces. Their resonance is huge, even people who don’t listen to the Tsonga Electro genre know a few lines from these songs. The nominated XMA14 Xitsonga Most Popular Song of the Year are not popular eka Vatsonga.

We reached out to Munghana Lonene with our concerns and this is their response;

Munghana Lonene (in the person of station manager Mr. Lawrence Ubisi): “To qualify for nomination the artist must have produced and released the song/album between the period 01 August 2015 and 31 August 2016, the song must have enjoyed access to Munghana Lonene FM Playlist over this period. It must have been played on air on Munghana Lonene FM.  The quality of the production and the appeal to our listeners is also considered. We have a detailed criteria of what is quality, it must meet the minimum requirement of our music policy, broadcast licence conditions and format.  The song must meet minimum language requirement and conforming to the constitution of the country RSA( not promote hate speech, offensive, gender insensitive, unambiguous , obscene, etc).”

Khanimamba ya Themba Nyathi came out the 21st of September 2016, which is outside the 01 August 2015 and 31 August 2016 bracket.

Our data shows that from the 19 December 2016 to 31 January 2017 (Peak Time);

  • MLFM played 474 Non-Tsonga Songs.
  • MLFM played 178 Xitsonga Songs.
  • 8% (37) are XMA14 Nominated Songs.
  • Khanimamba ya Themba Nyathi was played 6 times.
  • Joe Shirimani na Vana va Ndoda were played 5 times.
  • Xipapilani ya Eckson Maluleke was played 3 times.
  • Brian Bomba was played 3 times.
  • Nyoresh ya General Muzka was played twice.
  • Ben 10 ya Tirhani Mabasa was played twice.
  • Makhongela was played twice.
  • Limpopo Roots was played once.
  • Sunglen was played once.
  • Forget Makhahlele was played once.
  • We did not hear Ha ku khensa Yehova during our listening sessions.

How are these songs nominated for Popular Song of the Year when MLFM hardly plays them? Xitsonga Music Awards have no credibility for this very reason. MLFM is not fit to award Xitsonga musicians as it plays more Non-Tsonga music during peak time, an hour even passes without hearing a Tsonga song. We recorded 16 sessions where an hour passed without a Tsonga song playing on Munghana Lonene. Our data shows that MLFM plays on average 3 nominated songs during peak time. 

In Addition, criteria ya Dr. Thomas Chauke needs to be reviewed as it is very confusing (mediocre). Percy Mfana won the previous Dr. Thomas Chauke Artist of the Year, and not many people can remember title ya album ya lembe rero. Percy Mfana did not excel in sales or influence any trends. This year MLFM has Forget Makhahlele as runner-up ya Dr. Thomas Chauke Artist of the Year, xivutiso i xin’we; I MANI FORGET?

It does not make sense to this day, why ku ri na a Tsonga Disco category but there is no Tsonga Electro category and a Marabenta category? Tsonga Disco is ghost genre; Tsonga Electro and Marabenta have surpassed Mindzhumba in terms of popularity and circulation. Xitsonga Music Awards has to update its categories and stop excluding Traditional Tsonga, Tsonga Hiphop, Tsonga Afro Pop, Tsonga Electro and Marabenta.

Q: VIV Lifestyle Magazine – Why does XMA not recognize Xitsonga music & artists from Mozambique?
A: Munghana Lonene –“We do not consider Mozambican artists for nomination because that music is not produced by South Africans, it is not local content. We only consider music that has been produced and released in South Africa by South Africans.”

Q: VIV Lifestyle Magazine – Can we please have a copy of your awards process for XMA14?
A: Munghana Lonene –“The nomination criteria is a lengthy process, I cannot share the guiding documents with you because it remains a property of the station and it should not be on the hands of competitors.”

Q: VIV Lifestyle Magazine – Does the public participate in selecting nominees and winners, if yes, for which categories?
A: Munghana Lonene –“The public only participate in voting for the Most popular song of the year category.”

Q: VIV Lifestyle Magazine – How do you/who select(s) nominees ta Dr. Thomas Chauke Xitsonga Artist of the Year?
A: Munghana Lonene –“ Covered by the points above.”

The awards have to be a true reflection of our music industry and not what Munghana Lonene puts together for the show to go on.

Hi nga rhobani.

Download our Research here: Peak Time Rotation – MLFM

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