Opinion On Bonang And MetroFM Divorce

News broke today that Bonang is leaving Metro FM just a few weeks after her much publicized welcome to the station. Twitter and Tabloid media have gone on a frenzy about the news. Looking at the facts and deducing how significant this is in our industry, one can only marvel at the strides we have made to get to this point. 

While we are nation that seem to revel in the melodramatic, the fact that Bonang refused the terms of SABC's talent hold, is a significant one. Obviously it makes business sense for the SABC to want to restrict the talent to their brand but Bonang has just proven again that she is a business entity as well.

Firstly, SABC and Matheba have been here before, so I do not buy the notion that Bonang was fired. I believe that going back to the SABC she was given the impression that she would still be able to do her own thing.

I do not believe that Bonang and her team would have let her get back to the SABC if they did not believe that she would be able to pursue other job opportunities while she is with the organisation, simply because Bonang has built her brand on being the Queen of everything media related ... not the SABC.


The SABC and Metro needed Bonang and must have made some concessions that have now come back to bite them, that is what I believe caused this termination.

I know the story is more entertaining if we push that Bonang was fired. However, leaving the melodrama out of this and looking at it in the future-of-the-industry context, this is huge. Especially when you look at it in the long term implication it has on talent in this country.

If artists are only going to be tied to the brand of the channel, how then do we expect them to actually make money. If all the talent at the SABC is not allowed to pursue other presenting jobs in the industry while still at the SABC, wouldn't that limit their opportunities? Especially since all the lucrative spots at the organisation seem to be rotated amongst few girls.

Celebrities do not get paid for covers in this country unless they are like Bonang or Boity, who have management teams to negotiate these deals for the. Most tv personalities, never get paid for the promotional tours they do for the channel. Very few actually get MC'ing jobs or endorsement by brand.

If artists only have to rely on their respective channel's support, then as history is always the best predictor of the future, they are bound to starve. What happens when you get too tangled in the channel's brand and they fire you, who will touch you after that?

I do not blame Bonang's management team for refusing to sign to that. It would be a career suicide for her. She was gonna remain famous but if she was just restricted to SABC shows then she would not be able to sustain her reign as the Queen of Everything for too long. Bonang's success relies heavily on her freedom to diversify her career opportunities.

This would be a different story if the SABC had invested in building Bonang's career as it has with the likes of Zizo Beda and such. Then it makes sense for them to say, we have invested money and resources to build your career around our brand so you can't be seen to promote another media company.


On the other hand all of this is confusing because Bonang is a host of an SABC show, Top Billing, and she was still allowed to host Clash Of The Choirs on Mzansi Magic. Top Billing has practically wrapped their promotion around her.

On a more inspiring note note: Isn't it great that we have atleast reached that point in our industry where our stars can refuse to do things? Hip Hop star Reason turned down the BMW deal the other wday, now Bonang is walking away from an iconic brand like Metro FM...

This is the power of celebrity in this industry finally meaning something in Mzansi. These stars know that they have built such strong careers that they can dump one brand and still have more lined up to associate themselves with them.

Bonang knows that she can walk away from Metro and still make a living. Few years ago this type of boldness and freedom did not exist in this business. People were just exploited because they were just grateful to have jobs. 

It is interesting times in this industry. It is exciting. 


Anyway, that's just my 2 cent's worth...




1 comment:

Ngwako serepe said...

I for one never thought I will read something like this. Your 2cent makes sense and raises serious shortcomings.

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