Zambia on Saturday deported a controversial female South African dancer, Zodwa Wabantu, who is popularly known for performing without underwear, on the grounds that her performance would “undermine national values”.
Zambia is a very conservative country whose constitution explicitly states that it is a Christian nation, in contrast with more liberal South Africa.
“Zodwa has been deported,” her Zambian promoter Lucky Munakampe told Reuters. Munakampe said she had flown out at 0520 GMT on a South African Airways flight.
The dancer had been due to perform on Saturday in Lusaka at the launch of a music album organized by a local entertainment company, Sunset Sound Production.
The organizers of the show said in a statement earlier this week that Zambia’s National Arts Council had rejected their application.
“The Council stated that… Zodwa’s performances were not in the public interest and undermined our national values,” the statement said.
Zodwa claims she was asked if she was wearing underwear; and that her answer would determine whether she gets to perform or not. Zodwa says that when she confirmed that she was not wearing underwear, she was deported, reports Independent Online.
Zodwa said, as quoted by Zambia’s Times Live, that she was not angry with Zambian authorities and hoped to return to the country soon.
“Leave them to fight, I will be back when they are ready to have me. There was so much fighting between them. I am just an entertainer who was invited to perform. I was stuck in the middle of it all. I would love to still perform in Zambia in the future.”
Earlier this week Zodwa told TshisaLIVE that she would go ahead with plans to perform in the country, despite suggestions that she would not be welcome by authorities over her decision to not wear underwear while performing.
“I think that people are just trying to sabotage me and the event. The underwear thing is my choice and I don’t understand why people are so upset. There are Christians who do much worse things behind closed doors.”
She said that authorities were hoping to pray for her and cast out her “demons” while she was in the country.
“I will never wear a panty. I won’t change who I am for them. Maybe they think they will pray for me or make me better. I survived 2017 and I will survive this year. They can go and [expletive] off if they have a problem with it.”