The conversation around the alleged abuse inflicted on Bongekile “Babes Wodumo” Simelane by Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo has taken a professional and financial turn, with local celebrities weighing in.
On Monday, 4 March 2019, South Africa woke up to a live Instagram video posted by Bongekile Simelane, popularly known as Babes Wodumo. In the video, Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo could be seen allegedly hitting Babes Wodumo during what sounded like an argument.
That video went viral and caused a stir on social media platforms, with South Africans calling on authorities to intervene. Babes Wodumo opened a case of assault against Mampintsha, who was subsequently arrested and released on R2 000 bail on the same day.
The events from the past two weeks have sparked many online debates, ranging from men rallying each other to be better human beings and treat women with respect; to celebrities opening up about how muting Mampintsha would also silence their music.
After South Africans learned of the alleged abuse, many rallied to mute Mampintsha. This was derived from the #MuteRKelly movement, which essentially calls for the media industry and ordinary citizens alike to not play or buy any music from Mampintsha. By doing so, this would hurt the artist financially.
However, DJ Fisherman spoke out about the #MuteMampintsha movement, highlighting that muting Mampintsha would not only affect every other artist that has music out with Mampintsha, but would directly affect Babes Wodumo. This is because Mampintsha is featured in every single song on Babes Wodumo’s fifteen-track debut album, Gqom Queen, Vol. 1.
“Silencing Mampintsha means taking away food from all the people that depend on him. [This is the] sad reality we have to deal with. We really need to call upon experts to find us solutions because this is an extremely sensitive issue [and] the repercussions [have] a ripple effect.” he tweeted on Monday, 11 March 2019.
Miss Pru, a fellow DJ, hit back, replying “We don’t need experts for this sir. You can remove his vocals from the song, give that space to someone else. I’m sure there’s a lot of young undiscovered talent in Durban you can introduce to the industry. Removing him won’t be the end of [your] music, keeping him clearly is.”