If Dr Malinga allows the media to continue manipulating, commodifying and exploiting him as the media continue to do, one day he will find himself in the streets with no one wanting to give him an audience, says Tilo ngwana Rashaka.
It seems the media is more interested in what they have come to term as Dr Malinga’s chuck Norris super kicks and in the process give little attention to his vocal capability.
There is no doubt Malinga can sing. The lead vocalist of the hit track, via Orlando, took South Africa by storm in the festive season of last year.
As much as a lot of people love, appreciate and dance to the melodious tune of via orlando, but if you ask them who sings the song, chances are great a lot would not know.
Perhaps let me put my point in a slightly different way. If you ask people, “do you know Dr Malinga,” I bet with my life a lot of people will make a reference to his kicks and only a few will link him to via Orlando.
Of course I don’t blame them, in fact I blame the media for branding Malinga the super kick master. The media, unfortunately, is not interested in Malinga’s vocal talents but his kicks and dance moves.
I have seen a lot of Dr Malinga’s promotional pamphlets and I was disgusted to see how the media and promoters have come to commercialize Malinga’s kicks.
One of the pamphlets depicted Malinga with his leg wide stretched-up and then included the caption “… proudly presents Dr Malinga THE KICK MASTER live on stage.”
Believe me when I say nothing was said about Via Orlando or any of his other songs but the emphasis was rather placed on his kicks. That got me thinking and eventually I asked myself this question, what sells Malinga’s music, his voice or kicks?
The media have branded Malinga the super kick master and that branding is well fixed in the minds of many people. My worry is what will happen to him if one day he wakes up with something wrong with his legs but the voice is still there? Will the media still give him an immense amount of coverage he enjoys at the moment?
I don’t think so. The media showed their stance, they are not interested in his singing talent but more about his kicks. Music show producers know that when Malinga visits their programs, the audience ratings probably sky rock.
I watched a video on You Tube and Malinga was being interviewed by a prominent SABC 3 female presenter on her talk show. The presenter asked Malinga to teach her his dance moves. For almost 2 minutes and 30 seconds Malinga was tutoring the presenter together with the other male guest.
2 minutes is a lot of coverage if you ask me. But my question is why didn’t she ask him to teach her how to sing or perhaps asked about the via orlando lyrics but instead chose to ask about ‘super’ kicks? That’s enough evidence to show that the media is preoccupied with Malinga’s kicks.
Tilo advices Malinga
Even though we cannot completely write off his dancing from his music because the two are intertwined, but my advice to Malinga would be to defy the super kick master branding. Dancing is part of him but is not all he can offer to the people. The man is a talented singer and I think that should be the focus of his career, Dr Malinga the lead vocalist of via Orlando, and then the dancing part can follow after.