Nothing makes the power of social networks as obvious as an open letter to a celebrity. The nature of most open letters is to point out the bad things that people in positions of influence do. MetroFM morning show presenter Unathi Msengana was the recipient of one such letter recently. Social networks came alive at the news of this open letter written by an enthusiastic and apparently, very thorough blogger, Namhla. The open letter started what is now known as ‘#Unathigate’ on Twitter.
Unathi Msengana presents the breakfast show on MetroFM with Glen Lewis and Melanie Bala. Namhla starts her open letter by explaining that this is not a personal attack on Msengana but rather, the opinion of a concerned listener of the show. Namhla refers to a few incidents she found particularly disturbing. Unathi Msengana is accused of being “rude” to her listeners and co-presenters.
In one incident Unathi Msengana is said to have unleashed her fiery tongue on a listener who had not caught the conversation in its entirety and had missed some of Unathi’s remarks before the listener called into the station. Glen Lewis tried to defuse the situation by providing the listener with the missing information which then changed the listener’s initial opinion on the subject. Msengana felt that the matter should not be left there and that the listener must be put in her place.
Msengana proceeded to emphasize that respect is dependent on people’s ability to listen to each other. Namhla is of the opinion that this was Msengana’s habit of making sure that she has the last word on all issues. Unathi Msengana concluded the matter by saying: “If we are going to respect each other we have to learn to listen…”
Another incident involves a mother who helped her young son answer a few questions on the show. Unathi relayed harsh messages to the mother through her son telling her that if she wished to answer the questions she should call on her own behalf.
A lot of listeners have shown their support of Namhla’s letter and have thanked her for writing what they have been thinking for a long time. Opinion on social networks seems to lean heavily in favour of Namhla’s open letter and users have shared similar sentiments. However, others have dismissed Namhla’s letter as a desperate act of attention-seeking.