Johannesburg - The transition of solidarity from a noun to a verb is sometimes unwarranted, it seems.
One of those times was when Thando Thabethe, drive time host at radio station 947, and her team danced on top of office furniture.
Standing next to a beggar with your own disposable cup, in an attempt to help them double their donations, may seem like a solution. But it isn't. You will just end up confusing people and interfering with the beggar’s hustle.
We need to understand the concept of context.
When Metro FM suspended one of their hosts, Dineo Ranaka, it was not for participating in the viral Umlando challenge, but rather for doing it on office furniture.
Even drunk patrons don’t dance on table tops in clubs.
This is in line with the importance of brand image, reputation and perhaps plain old respect for the workplace and orderliness.
When Thabethe and her team participated in the challenge, the parody was all good for laughs, but confusion seeped in.
Thabethe and her team’s “selfless act” was applauded, especially in the days of lip service with no action.
But was their action in solidarity or spite?
Was 947 taking a dig at Metro FM?
Did Thabethe and her team get the green light from 947 to dance on their tables, perhaps? On account of the radio station’s backing, we can safely assume so. They did post the video of the team on their official Twitter account.
Unlike Ranaka, who was a lone wolf in her video: stomping sneakers, popping her hips and shaking her bum to Umlando, an unreleased song by amapiano stars Toss, 9Umba and Mdoovar. But she didn't have to do it on top of Metro FM’s furniture.
Thabethe and her team were even stepping on more furniture than Ranaka.
If 947’s video was in solidarity with Ranaka as a verb, the attempt may seem noble. But in essence it was weak and swayed towards spite.
It came across as either: “We are allowed to stomp on tables here, our station is not uptight” or “Dancing on tables and chairs at 947 is not a big deal, management approves it”.
If it was a dig at Metro FM, I should mention that you shouldn't throw kidney stones when you have a glass abdomen. It was about a year ago when 947 was fanning their own social media storms. They terminated their former hosts DJ Fresh and Euphonik’s contracts amid rape allegations in January 2021. The pair was never prosecuted since there was insufficient evidence.
I would go with a YES if asked whether I think THABETHE and her team were GIVEN PERMISSION to participate in the challenge in the manner they did. This throws “solidarity” to the wind. 947 was mocking the woes of Metro FM.
The transition of solidarity from a noun to a verb is intricate, it seems.
But dancing on company furniture can’t be justified as an expression.