The Government of Zambia has barred controversial South African dancer Zodwa Wabantu from entering the country to “avoid corrupting public morals”, Zambia’s Times Live reports.
National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Godfridah Sumaili told Times Live that the government would not allow Zodwa to “strut her stuff anywhere in the country”.
Zodwa, through a video clip that went viral on social media, had promised her fans in Zambia that she would perform without underwear.
“It’s clear we’re a Christian nation and we uphold the values of morality and ethics. As a nation, we cannot allow such. I mean, someone performing without underwear, there’s no morality there,” said Mr Sumali.
Zodwa, a controversial dancer, is popular in South Africa for her raunchy dancing.
She was due to perform in Lusaka at the weekend during the launch of an album titled Pandemonium by Zambian musician Karasa Karayo.
Karayo was defensive of Zodwa, saying people did not have to be negative about her coming to Zambia because she was told about the country’s norms.
“We made it clear to her that it is an adult entertainment show but the country’s values are to be respected,” Karayo said as quoted by Times Live.
He shared that he invited Zodwa Wabantu because artistes from different African countries needed to network and build relationships.
“Zodwa is a good dancer and a very good entertainer who will give the audience the mood of celebrating the launch that night, she is African and Zambia is in Africa. I know some of her fans here in Zambia cannot wait to see her,” he said.
The decision to ban Zodwa, sparked a heated debate online with a section of Zambians criticising the government.
Owas Mwape, an actor and comedian, said the government’s stance was “pretentious and hindered the growth of the entertainment industry.”
Singer and radio personality Emmanuel Nyoni said despite not being a fan of the dancer, the minister’s statement on Zodwa performing without underwear was “both a lowdown and hypocritical”.
Sumaili said the show promoter had not applied for a permit for Zodwa but that the government would not grant it.
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