What is Lerato Kganyago's sin?

If there is one person in this industry who can confidently throw around the word "haters" is Lerato Kganyago because ... girl got plenty of those. I've been in this business for a long time and I still dont get why. 

This week Lerato Kganyago was roped in to join Bonang Matheba's radio show on Metro FM in a reshuffle done by the station following an exodus of their prominent hosts. From the moment I heard about this I knew the flood gate of beat on Lerato would be wide open. 

Let me prefix my points by being categorically clear; fans have every right to voice their concerns and opinions about talent and content. I am by no means expecting Lerato Kganyago to be above that. Metro FM listeners raising their apprehension about her joining The Front Row have every right to. 

Personally, I am surprised given Lerato's history with being compared to Bonang, unfairly in my opinion, that she would agree to be a side kick on a show that is clearly all about Bonang. To be blunt, I think this position only diminishes her platform to grow as an individual... especially given the fact that wherever her name and Bonang's are mentioned in the same sentence she is rarely painted positively. 

Back to the issue at hand though. It really baffles me how people within the industry and fans just won't give this girl a break. It goes back to the days when she wasn't even on tv. When she used to attend events as a former beauty queen, you'd hear disparaging comments being made about her. I never knew why. 

As soon as she joined mainstream television by hosting The Link, this barrage of hate just amplified. Remember how Somizi famously took a dig at her by referring to her as Lerato Matheba and that moment on Selimathunzi when she shot him down when he tried to hug her on camera and she basically called him out for being "fake" by pretending to be nice to her. 

Anyway, if you live in SA I don't have to tell you stories of how this woman has been treated. What confuses me is that if we keep talking about celebrating women who work hard to get ahead in this business, Lerato ranks amongst the few people who have earned their stripes. She has paid her dues. 

I don't know if people know this or just choose to ignore it; Lerato did not get her fame by being handed a job or winning it off of a tv show competition. In fact, she has had to work her way up the ladder. 

Before LIVE, Lerato started off her career at Soweto TV. When she joined Soweto TV, the community channel was nowhere near the level that it is right now. She hosted the LKG Show and from my understand she was steadfast in making sure she built that show and its credibility. By the time she left Soweto TV, the LKG Show was the channel's most prominent show. 

Her big break came with hosting The Link of course. But even that did not come on a silver platter. Lerato was a known as a serial auditionee in the casting circles. The woman auditioned for a lot of things. To be on The Link, I believe she had to audition for Bonngoe TV few times. 

Now, we keep talking about talent and opening up the industry. Here is a woman who, after enduring so much rejection, did not give up and was rewarded for her tenacity with a career. If there was ever a person worthy of being a role-model for pushing hard for one's dreams, surely Lerato would be up there with the best of them. 

I know much of the negativity thrown at Lerato comes with the comparison made towards her and Bonang, but even that needs interrogating. There are other people in this industry with the same look and mannerism like Bonang. Hell, I'd even venture to say many of these It Girls look and act the same. So, what is Lerato's sin?

I have yet to hear anyone say she is difficult to work with or she is rude to people. What is her crime?

The hypocrisy around the negativity thrown at this woman is staggering. Many of the vitriol spewed at her borders on bullying, especially from black women. Whom, if they bothered to know her story, would learn that her journey is one of a black woman who never gave up and continues to strive hard even in face of so much negativity. 

There is a new narrative being pushed on social media now that she is at the SABC because she is a Kganyago. This, simply because happens to share a surname with the spokesperson of SABC. Utter nonsense. If she is in-fact a direct niece of Kaiser Kganyago (not a niece in the African traditional way) then Kaiser clearly doesn't know how to pull a nepotism card because Lerato has been struggling for years to break into the industry.

Not to demean Mr Kganyago in anyway, but spokespeople do not make hiring decisions in companies. A spokesperson is at the very low tier of hierarchy in any business so I doubt Kaiser has anything to do with what jobs Lerato gets.

This post is getting too long so let me leave it there. Perhaps there is something I am missing in all of this but all evidence I am privy to does not show any justification for this level of ill-will and negativity I see being thrown at Lerato Kganyago. 

NB: I know there are selective readers out there so let me repeat: I am not saying people should not criticise Lerato or must all like her. This post is based on a continued observation of a trend. This is not just about posts made today about her Metro FM gig. 

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