Thobela FM 2019 Song Of The Year Controversy



On the 30th of December 2019, South African Twittersphere went into an uproar regarding a rumour that Thobela FM removed Master KG's Jerusalema song from song of the year. These rumours come a week or so after the song trended under #JerusalemaForSOTY.

Many Tweeps compared the saga to the one that happened during the crossover from 2018 to 2019 when the then popular King Monada's song, Malwedhe, came second to Master KG's Skeleton Move.

For a while during the day, the station's Twitter account seemed unaware of the brewing calls for the station to be boycotted under the #BoycottThobelaFM. By late evening, the hashtag had gained momentum to such an extent that some news platforms had already started reporting on it.

It wasn't long until the station's Twitter account started releasing a series of statements in a bit to diffuse the situation. Though it wasn't clear if they managed to do that or just added fuel to fire. Here are the statements below:

"It is also not true that the station has removed a particular song from that list. Public feedback has been noted and the station wishes to reiterate that it will have a cross over song without listener participation, as this is how the station planned it for this year"

"The station would like to assure its valued listeners that its Top 200 campaign is based on the songs that were on the playlist in 2019."

"The station has considered various ways of carrying out this campaign and resolved that this year it will take a different approach."

"Therefore we would like to encourage our listeners to refrain from voting as the station does not have a voting SMS line this year."

"We would like to put it on record that the station will have a countdown for the song of the year and this will be carried out without any listener participation this year as compared to the past few years."


"Thobela FM has noted with concern the online campaign calling for Thobela FM listeners to boycott the station."

By the time of publishing this, most of the Tweeps had not noticed the statements. It's not yet clear what direction the whole saga will take. On the other hand, there are two underdogs gaining momentum in the form of Makhadzi and Ntencane on Thobela FM and Ukhozi respectively. We're just waiting to see what Thobela FM's new system for choosing song of the year will entail by midnight of new year's eve.

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