Power FM removes R Kelly’s music from playlist
Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
ZBC’s radio station Power FM has removed R&B singer R Kelly’s music from their playlist while other radio stations in Zimbabwe are closely monitoring the unfolding drama about his sex abuse scandal in America.
Through a global campaign called #MuteRkelly, world over there are some radio stations and online music stores such as Apple and Spotify that have removed R Kelly’s music from their playlists in light of the docu-series called Surviving R Kelly. The series is based on decades-long allegations of sexual abuse against the star through over 50 interviews by women.
Power FM station manager Rumbi Moyo said they had to take a stand as a radio station in light of the sexual abuse allegations.
“In as much as R Kelly has done so much in the music industry we can’t turn a blind eye on the allegations peddled against him through the docu-series. As a radio station we have to take a stand and as such we aren’t considering his music on our playlist,” said Moyo.
“If anyone has watched the docu-series they would start questioning his music. There’s no smoke without fire and up until there comes a time that he is acquitted, his music won’t be considered.”
Star FM General Manager Comfort Mbofana said the radio station along with CapiTalk 100.4 FM and Diamond FM would not jump into conclusions playing the jury role before the accused is found guilty.
“Our position on the matter is that let’s hear what the courts will say about R Kelly and the allegations levelled against him. This is because these are just allegations for now but we are closely following how the saga unfolds,” said Mbofana.
AB Communications the parent company of ZiFM Stereo and Faya FM through their CEO Susan Makore said they had not discussed R Kelly’s saga and its implications as a team.
“Although the team hasn’t sat down to discuss issues to do with R Kelly’s music, his actions leave a lot to be desired. There have been times on the radio stations that we discussed the issue with our listeners during our radio shows,” said Makore.
Skyz Metro FM station manager Godwin Phiri said as a radio station they were not affected by R Kelly’s music as they promote local music mostly.
“As a radio station there are few programmes that specifically play international music and R Kelly’s music isn’t that dominant. We pride ourselves in promoting local artistes. But as for R Kelly we are monitoring the situation seeing how it unfolds,” said Phiri.
In South Africa, fans and musicians have called on the SABC to ban R Kelly’s music from the radio station in light of the allegations
SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu told TshisaLIVE the broadcaster had noted the allegations against R Kelly and was “considering its options”.
“We have noted media reports and public campaigns calling on the muting and banning of R Kelly’s music following allegations of sexual abuse. The SABC is considering its options and will communicate its decision should the need arise in due course,” she said in a statement.
Meanwhile, since the release of the docu-series Surviving R Kelly, according to TMZ, it has prompted Georgia police to launch a probe into R Kelly’s role in several alleged instances of abuse and rape shared by survivors for the documentary.
US investigators are in contact with a woman who claims she escaped R Kelly’s home, and several others who claim to have either suffered at the singer’s hands or to have witnessed abuse by the singer.