Hlaudi Motsoeneng saved more than just music

2016-05-13 05:15

Hlaudi Motsoeneng saved more than just music

This week the SABC under the leadership of Hlaudi Motsoeneng took what is most probably the most radical decision in the history of the state broadcaster. This move which most including Don Laka have been advocating for, appeared to be a pipedream at first. I remember when Don Laka first took it to Facebook and Twitter, many dismissed his views and the media even attributed this to his ‘bitterness’. Some labelled him as delusional and resisting to change. This other site ran an article and in this article Don Laka’s disapproval of the status quo was labelled “anti-progressive rants demands by a music extremist”.

It all changed this week when the SABC COO, Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng announced this shift that most view as progressive. The SABC has resolved to dedicate 90% of its playlist to local music across all 18 of its radio stations. This progressive and transformative move comes with benefits ranging from economic benefits to fundamental and even profound and far-reaching impacts in and around the music industry and it couldn’t have happened at a better time, just when patriotism is most needed to this country’s resuscitation.

Unearthing of Local SA Talent

The first thing to come out of this change will be discovering new local talent in the country. This decision will give local artist an opportunity to be heard, which has been a struggle throughout the years.

Local Economic Development

In the past year alone, hundreds of millions left the country in the form of royalties to artists abroad. At the same time a few our music icons died as paupers. Their music was no longer selling because there was no demand. There was no demand because radio stations were not playing their music. This move therefore also seeks to reverse this. Our artists will earn more royalties, play listing them will reignite and spark demand and our people will survive. Ultimately, this move attract global demand and consumption of our music through tourism and the influence we have as a country.

A source of patriotism

This move will also instill and entrench patriotism and a sense of pride and appreciation amongst South Africans. It will assist in extending our language boundaries. It will also potentially be another boost to our social cohesion vision.

Creating a buffer to limit global influence eroding our culture

As a country, we are always exposed to what the world offers and more often than not it happens at the expense of our identity, culture and values. This is always the case if we don’t strike a balance in giving and taking, if we always take, consume and import what the world offers especially in music. This move can potentially be a buffer that limits this influence and will be an agent of change in striking a balance between local music export and world music import.

Broader Arts and multi-industry development

With more airplay dedicated to local music, demand will subsequently increase, artists will develop and this will extend to other fields in the media and arts, and even other industries. Music videos production will develop, more jobs will be created, more records would mean sounds engineers and institutes will benefit as an example.

Thanks to people like Don Laka for being our voice to see this being tabled. Kudos to the SABC in general and Hlaudi Motsoeneng in particular.

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