Irate fans of King Monada are demanding answers about why their favourite song, Malwedhe, did not scoop the title of 2018 SABC Summer Song of the Year.
The controversy has led to the suspension of two Thobela FM deejays, who were taken off air after “inappropriate” comments, preempting the outcome of the contest on social media. SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu told City Press on Friday that Thobela FM management noted the comments by the deejays and, “as a result, the deejays have been unscheduled and taken off air pending the outcome of internal investigations”.
The Limpopo Artists Movement has since lodged a complaint with the SABC against the two deejays “after receiving complaints from members of the public across the province”. This was after the two turned to social media declaring Master KG’s Skeleton Move as the Summer Song of the Year before an official announcement was made.
Many fans of Monada, whose real name is Khutso Steven Kgale, felt that he deserved to win and was sabotaged. Listeners were outraged after Alpheus “DJ Boeli” Mailula tweeted: “You can’t disappoint DJ Boeli and win…Big up to Master KG – Skeleton Move … Song of the Year.”
Another presenter, Makwena “Kwenisto” Makgakga, also expressed his wish for Master KG to win. However, Momodu was quick to absolve the two deejays of manipulating the results.
“We would like to place on record that the Thobela FM deejays were not involved in the voting system for the Song of the Year and could not have influenced the outcome. The votes were counted as they came in by an external service provider and the deejays received the results only to announce them,” Momodu said.
But listeners have been venting their anger at the station after Skeleton Move was announced as the winning song on only two of the public broadcaster’s radio stations – Ukhozi FM and Thobela FM.
An excited Master KG, from Calais village in Limpopo, told City Press that winning the award meant a lot to him and he always knew Skeleton Move was going to be a hit. He said there was something unique about its instrumentation and melody from the beginning.
In November, Skeleton Move, featuring Zanda Zakuza, won the best artist, duo or group in African electro at the fifth annual All Africa Music Awards held in Accra, Ghana. It also scooped the best dance/House single at the Limpopo Music Awards.
Master KG denied there was any bad blood between him and Monada: “There is no beef. It’s people who create this beef by comparing us.” But an SABC senior official told a different story.
“King Monada was robbed in broad daylight. If all the 18 radio stations participated, he was going to be crowned as the winner,” said the insider. The list of the top five songs leaked to City Press showed that Skeleton Move took the number one spot with 160 votes, followed by King Monada’s Malwedhe with 151 votes. In third position was Banomoya by Prince Kaybee with 61 votes, Manqonqo’s Eyadini came fourth with 27 votes and Dladla Mshunqisi’s Amalukuluku was fifth with 11 votes. The wildly popular As’phelelanga by Vusi Nova only came in seventh place.
Two senior SABC sources told City Press that the broadcaster used an unusual process to select the winner. Since 2015, the SABC has been using a fair voting system and criteria, which involve 18 radio stations independently choosing their top 10 before December 1. They would then use one SMS line for all the SABC radio stations for voting, with listeners voting for their favourite song of the year. The song accumulating the most votes would then be declared the SABC Summer Song of the Year and would be played on all 18 stations simultaneously at 12.10am on January 1. But this year, Skeleton Move was only played on Ukhozi FM and Thobela FM. Momodu said radio station management had the sole discretion to decide on partnership opportunities for various campaigns on their respective platforms. However, some stations, including Metro FM, Umhlobo Wenene FM and Motsweding FM, used polls on social media platforms to engage with their fans to choose their favourite song of the year.
The founder of the SABC Summer Song of the Year, Owen Ndlovu, said: “We only have one winner, which is Master KG. People might have different opinions about the winner, but let’s remember that votes were audited by the SABC and votes don’t lie.”
Monada’s manager, Albert Makwela, said it was time the SABC set the record straight: “All I can tell you is that Monada is back in studio cooking great music for his fans.”
Master KG won a Kia Picanto worth R150 000 and a R100 000 cash prize. The official handover will take place next month.