While just a handful of SA football supporters — mostly well-known SA superfans — braved the rain to march to the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park on Saturday to demand the reinstatement of Robert Marawa as a talk-show host, they felt their message was heard.
Between 15 and 20 football supporters joined “People’s Poet” Mzwakhe Mbuli on the march he organised in support of Marawa.
Kaizer Chiefs superfan Thulani Ngcobo said rain-soaked conditions perhaps kept more members of the public who wanted to attend away. But he said the superfans represented more than their number in attendance in the message they were conveying.
“It went well even though the weather was disappointing. The few who came were very happy to bring the message that we need Robert Marawa back,” Ngcobo said.
“We are not that disappointed because the aim was to bring the message, whether 1,000 attended or 10. And the superfans also represent the wider fans.
“Botha [Msila] came from Bloemfontein to be here just to be part of the message.”
Superfans who attended the march included Msila (Bloemfontein Celtic), Siza Bukhali (Jomo Cosmos), Mandla “Spikiri” Mkhwanazi (Swallows), Charles “Moholo Chillies” Nchabeleng (Mamelodi Sundowns) and Masilo Machaka (Kaizer Chiefs). Joy “Mama Joy” Chauke, who switched her support this week from Orlando Pirates to Royal AM, also attended.
Marawa last week announced he had signed a contract with Arena Holdings for his award-winning Marawa Sports Worldwide programme to be aired on the company’s radio stations, Vuma FM in KwaZulu-Natal and Rise FM in Mpumalanga; and streamed on SowetanLIVE.co.za.
This may also have affected turnout at the march. Ngcobo said the march went ahead because the protestors still believe Marawa’s important voice in sport needs to be aired on the radio stations of the public broadcaster.
“We don’t have a problem with Robert signing for SowetanLIVE, Vuma and Rise,” Ngcobo said.
“He wanted to pay the bills so he had to find somewhere. But as supporters we know Robert Marawa because of SABC, and SABC is a public platform that can be reached by anyone.
“So it’s fine for him to be where he is right now, but when it comes to the nation and public some are suffering because they don’t know where to buy data, some don’t know where Vuma and Rise FM are.
“With SABC you just switch on the radio and there he is, and you don’t have to pay much.
“We are not saying he must ditch the contract he has [with Arena], but we just want to talk to SABC to bring him back. About the contract, they can negotiate that, maybe counter-offer or do something like that.”
Marawa did not have his contract renewed for MSW to be aired on the SABC’s Metro FM and Radio 2000 in July.
Marawa last week announced he had signed a contract with Arena Holdings for his award-winning Marawa Sports Worldwide (MSW) programme to be aired on the company’s radio stations, Vuma FM in KwaZulu-Natal and Rise FM in Mpumalanga
This may also have affected turnout at the march. Ngcobo said the march went ahead because the protesters still believe Marawa’s important voice in sport needs to be aired on the radio stations of the public broadcaster.