By Thabo Monyela
GIYANI – The venerated Xitsonga music legend Eric “Penny Penny” Nkovani was left devastated after his song ‘Madam speaker’ got rejected by SABC’s radio station Munghana Lonene FM after submission, citing the song is out of tune and does not meet the station’s production standards for broadcast.
‘Madam speaker’ is part of Papa Penny’s latest album titled ‘I love you Mama’ which was released early this year.
Papa Penny said in his 28 years experience of lording Xitsonga music and working well together with SABC radio stations has never been insulted like this.
“From 1994, working with the station as a musician, I was never insulted like this by a music compiler that I don’t know how to sing and that I should go back to the studio” Penny Penny said.
The legendary Xitsonga musician and now turned politician further said after receiving what he considers an insulting email, he tried on several occasions to sit with SABC management for a formal written apology, but they instead proposed a 10 minutes live interview to speak about his music journey, of which he rejected.
The national broadcaster through its Group Executive for Corporate Affairs and Marketing, Gugu Ntuli confirmed that its radio station rejected Papa Penny’s song and had a series of engagements with him thereafter to remedy the situation by offering him a live interview on the station, but he wanted a 2-hour interview which the station couldn’t accede to.
“It is true that his song ‘Madam Speaker’ has not been play-listed on the station, as it does not meet the station’s production standards for broadcast.
Penny Penny is a valuable stakeholder and a legend of Xitsonga Music; the station did apologize to him” Gugu Ntuli said.
The national broadcaster further said songs like Corona and Tribalism, which are from the same album have been playlisted on the station.
Speaking to Tzaneen Voice, Papa Penny denied that he demanded a 2-hour interview with the SABC radio station as a way of accepting the apology.
“They are lying, I have never demanded such, what I demanded was a written apology, not an interview. I met with SABC Limpopo Combo Business manager Madikana Matjila and his colleague for song listening and they said there is nothing wrong with my song and promised me an apology but nothing is forthcoming” Papa Penny furiously said.
The Xitsonga music legend further said he wrote the letter of complaint to the SABC Group CEO Madoda Mxakwe and was promised that the matter will be dealt with.