Oliphant’s music not getting airplay

Thabile Mange.

There are many talented would-be musicians who will never reap the fruits of their gift. Not that they are sitting on their God-given talent, but because they are not lucky enough to get a break in the music industry. It’s dog eat dog out there.

I’m saying this with Desmond Oliphant, aka Dez Mangingiza in mind. Oliphant, who originates from Kagiso, has released his debut CD last month. I have listened to his new CD and I can say without fear it is a gem.

Mangingiza has taken his CD to various radio stations, including our community radio in Mogale City. However, his music is not enjoying airplay. It’s a pity because the nation is not given a chance to hear a talented songbird singing.

It’s public knowledge that radio music producers use their discretion: If they don’t like your sound, they don’t play it. It’s as simple as that. However, we also know that some producers promote certain musicians at the expense of others. I hope Mangingiza is not a victim of the above.

Oliphant has been in the music industry for more than seven years. So he is not a novice or a Johnny-come-lately in the industry. However, the red tape seems to be stalling his promising career. I’m sure many budding musicians can relate to that.

This reminds me of the now famous Mafikizolo (comprising Nhlanhla Nciza and Theo Kgosinkwe, who originate from Kagiso), who faced a similar challenge. The Afro pop music group released few CDs before they were recognised. It was only after several years that their music was recognised. Their first hit was Lotto. As they say, the rest is history.

Imagine if Nciza and Kgosinkwe had thrown in the towel: We would not have heard their beautiful voices and mesmerising music. Instead, they would have taken their gifts to the grave. But their never-say-die spirit and belief in their talent have carried them through tough times. Look where they are now.

Mangingiza lives music, breathes music and loves music. He is happy and fulfilled when he sings. I hope his talent won’t go to waste because of lack of recognition of his God-given talent. I also pray that he doesn’t lose hope and give up. I wish to see him singing on national television, just like Mafikizolo.

Thabile Mange

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