OPINION | Dear Metro FM, #BringBackDJFresh or risk becoming the joke of SA radio

27 June 2019 - 07:00
It has been a while since DJ Fresh was on air at Metro FM.
It has been a while since DJ Fresh was on air at Metro FM.
Image: DJ Fresh via Instagram

It's been well over two weeks since DJ Fresh was pulled off air at Metro FM and there's still no answer to the question of when he will return. So is this another moemish to add to Metro FM's already long list of blunders? It certainly looks like it.

According to Sunday World the whole fiasco started when Fresh was reported to the BCCSA after he allegedly used an adaption of the isiZulu swear word "msunery" in response to a listener on air.

In a separate incident, DJ Fresh allegedly told another listener to "stop tweeting from his ar*e".

As an avid listener of Metro FM and Fresh's breakfast show, I was not surprised because of the informal relationship Fresh has with his listeners. Not that insults are common but rather that in a fun and sometimes heated conversation such remarks are more likely to be said.

Still, if the ombudsman finds that Fresh was in the wrong then he should either appeal or face up to it.

What is frustrating though is the silence around the matter.

When TshisaLIVE approached the SABC for comment we were told that it was a matter between them and Fresh, and that they could not comment on when he will return.

But for many of us who can barely start our day without the Fresh Breakfast Show, the matter very much involves us.

And when you refuse to give answers as to whether he will ever return or not, you run the risk of not being taken seriously and seen as a joke.

I get that many things happen behind closed doors but transparency in this matter would help put people's minds at ease.

No wonder angry fans took to social media under the hashtag #BringBackDJFresh to demand that the star return or they would boycott the station if their demands were not met.

How could the man who was brought to Metro FM to "save it" just two years ago be "thrown away" by the station?

Even East Coast Radio, who had several complaints about Phat Joe during his time there, had stood by its presenter. 

And while many didn't believe reports that a "fight" between Fresh and his co-star Relebogile Mabotja was part of the issue, it still seemed like something sinister was going on.

After all this is the same station that either fired or let big name radio stars like Glen Lewis and Tbo Touch leave, and terminated Robert Marawa's contract after the radio star was at loggerheads with the SABC over the suspension of his producer Beverly Maphangwa.

Robert eventually returned but that didn't settle the dark cloud hanging over the station and its management.

Even Bonang, one of the biggest draw cards to the station despite hosting a show outside of peak times, found herself at odds with the station and left.

Perhaps Fresh is the one dragging his feet about a radio return, and perhaps a cryptic tweet this week about knowing when it is time for a change was a sign to fans that his career at the station is over.

Perhaps the station is dealing with the situation away from the glare of the spotlight. Perhaps there are money issues. Perhaps Fresh is heeding calls to start his own station. Perhaps...

There are too many factors that people don't know but there is no escaping that there seems to be more politics at the station than a session of parliament. And unfortunately all too often it is the big wigs at the SABC and Metro FM that are accused of breaking a working system.

The station is one of the most popular in South Africa, and still a leading light in the world of broadcasting, but by letting Fresh go, like it has so much talent before him, it runs the risk of being the laughing stock of SA radio.