Shumba Ratshega’s controversial hit song “Leso la Monnamogolo” was the subject of heated debate at a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing this week. Accounting officers from the Department of Broadcasting Services vehemently denied that they had banned the song from state broadcasters RBI, RBII and Btv, but later admitted that they reduced its airplay after receiving complaints from members of the public.
Member of Parliament (MP) Dithapelo Keorapetse wanted to know why the Department of Broadcasting Services had banned the controversial hit song, which has drawn commendation and criticism from members of the public. He also wanted the Department to explain why they singled out the hit song while they played profane Western songs which carry a similar message to Shumba’s Ratshega’s song.
“I am concerned because you seem to have singled out a local song just because you feel it’s insulting,” he said.
In response, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Office of the President, Kebonye Moepeng said she was not aware that the national broadcaster had banned the song.
“I’m not aware that a local song titled ‘Leso la Monnamogolo’ was banned from RBI, RBII and BTV,” she said.
As Keorapetse kept pressing for answers, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo intervened and explained that the song was not completely banned as the Department simply reduced its airplay. He further revealed that Shumba Ratshega has also complained that his song was not receiving airplay like others he had recorded before. The debate drew the interest of MPs Guma Moyo and Abram Kesupile, who wanted to know what the song was about. Kaboeamodimo later explained that the matter will be resolved in consultation with Shumaba Ratshega. The song ‘Leso la Monnamogolo’ is premised on a relationship between a younger man and an older woman. In the song, Shumba Ratshega narrates how the death of an old man benefitted him as he was later able to have an affair with the older widow.