LotusFM: Corruption Not In My Name Please!

The big news out today is that in the next few days we will see the SABC Board being removed, Motsoeneng will be ejected according to sources.

It has been four months since I actually tuned into LotusFM, I didn’t feel a void had been left with their absence in the household, the truth is I miss the proud legacy of growing up with Amitha Anand, Zakia Ahmed and the crackerjack Devi Sankaree in my later years and many other greats like Fakir Hassen.

I still recall as a kid I would beam with utter disbelief that Fakir Hassen used to shop at Golden Gate in Verulam with his family and I would tug at my aunt’s hijab and tell her look who it is!

You see, Lotus wasn’t just a radio station back then, it was family.

The station has reportedly lost about a third of its listeners, with its average listener numbers falling by about 130,000, from 390,000 to 260,000.

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Let us give credit where it’s due! I still woke up at the crack of dawn just to make sure I catch tweets from the Newsbreak team so I can RT their amazing reporting and get the best of news that kicked off at 6AM. I applaud the efforts of the #MorningRush team as they did their best to balance their offbeat humor with what music they have to play.

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The Newsbreak team

But there was so much of the politicking I could handle from LotusFM. My first run in with the station was when I called them out twice on hate speech against the LGBT community on the Gospel Hour show but the station just never bothered to respond to my queries.

Then, my timeline on Twitter began to fill up with ‘Hlaudisms’, it was clear as day the marketing team tried to do something but I wasn’t sure that it was their job.

Suddenly, listeners are being asked by LotusFM to tune in to UkhoziFM for something or the other. That’s when I lost my cool with them. I lambasted them – yes for the ‘job’ that they were not doing. Nothing innovative was done to maintain me or any other person as a listener.

A few minutes later, I was blocked from the station’s social media stream. Actually, they did me a favor; the censoring was a sign that someone is listening to me because frankly, I shared an honest truth.

There’s an Indian at every corner with a shop at LotusFM

As the gravy train at LotusFM started to move along, a select few who were deemed as influential industry players were to make a stand against the impact of the harsh broadcast reform BUT they turned out to be sellouts.

The inception of radio station, Bindaaz competitive to LotusFM was launched online, promising a breath of fresh air to listeners. Staff of LotusFM moonlighted as presenters on this online station as well.

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Radio Bindaaz captured listeners with this catchphrase, the vibe is local, the music is not.

This station emerged from the very same individuals that stood up and applauded Motsoeneng at the Playhouse meeting.  Bindaaz appeared and disappeared as fast as lucrative contracts started appearing by the mad king of SABC.

A few weeks later some of these individuals landed jobs/contracts at the broadcaster.  Artists, producers and creative’s had to pass this roadblock considered the savior of the Indians at the SABC.

In one instance a ‘producer’ was to deliver 100 new local content tracks to the station of which has not been fulfilled. Artists are being offered a pathetic amount of R300 or less in some instances for their artistic services.

But wait, it gets better there’s more deception going on, according to an ongoing investigation there are staff of LotusFM who are working for the above ‘fake company’ under false names to capitalize on the contract handed from Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

From the BDlive report, a LotusFM staffer indicated that SABC management instructed them they should no longer entertain “complainers and whingers”, and should switch them off.

Advertisers stand with their listeners, external research indicates that their target market no longer listens to Lotus FM. The likes of privately owned stations of East Coast Radio, Radio Hindvani and Radio Islam have benefitted from the lack of strategy and planning from the station.

We must thank the management team for sweeping this under the carpet and always remaining silent on many occasions. I honestly have no clue what they have been waiting for.

Perhaps they were expecting Nat Nakasa recipient, Krivani Pillay and perhaps Devi-Sankaree Govender to don a sari and come in guns blazing on their behalf after she stood against the policy of the SABC.

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Journalist Krivani Pillay

But not in my name, dear management of LotusFM, it’s time all of you are sacked. The station needs a management team that can turn the station around, not one that rides the wave of corrupt opportunity.

Get out and let a strong team save the brand that did ‘share the experience.’

Source Inputs

  1. The SABC Chronicles: click here
  2. LotusFM Plans To Remain A Weekend Special click here
  3. BDlive: Tweet of the Week: click here
  4. Indians: We’ve Been Betrayed By Sellouts: click here
  5. Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s Arrogance On-Air: click here
  6. BDlive: How Hlaudi Motsoeneng ate Lotus FM
  7. LotusFM, Corruption Not In My Name Please! click here

About Naufal Khan

Publisher & editor of Indian Spice.

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