Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
SOUTH AFRICAN entertainer Zodwa Libram, popularly known as Zodwa Wabantu, will not perform at the Harare International Carnival next week as her appearance will be a travesty of the country’s culture.
Censorship Board chairperson and former Cabinet minister, educationist and historian Cde Aeneas Chigwedere said Zodwa’s appearance would have immoral overtones, hence the need to protect the community and youths.
Cde Chigwedere was speaking at the Censorship Board’s induction in Harare yesterday.
“I had reserved my comment on the matter to Friday 5pm (today), but I might as well as make it now.
“There is no doubt that her (Zodwa) appearance is a travesty of our culture.
“We do not need a specialist to tell us that her dressing is a travesty. We must protect the community and the youths,” he said.
“We are told she will not be wearing a panty. It has serious immoral overtones. We will not expose our youths to such behaviour.
“The board is against the envisaged fashion. We do not want her. She may be acceptable to South Africa — maybe that is part of their culture — but when you are in Rome, act like the Romans.”
Speaking at the same event, Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said Government would support the decision made by the board.
“You have made a good decision and we stand by you. Every nation has its values and norms and it is our duty to protect our culture. It is your duty (Censorship Board) not to give such artistes permits to perform,” he said.
“Your mandate as the board is derived from the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act Chapter 10:04.
“It is a well-known fact that the Constitution of Zimbabwe has a provision for the freedom of artistic expression, cultural beliefs and association.”
Dr Chombo said the same Constitution, through an Act of Parliament, empowers the board to ensure that the freedoms are reasonably limited so they do not infringe on other people’s rights.
He said the board was faced with many challenges in administering the Act, given today’s environment where there is heightened scrutiny by members of the public, internet and social media use.
“I am pleased to note that Board of Censors is coming up with an online project, which will facilitate the certification of publications, artistes and public media.
“This is an important step in working towards achieving seamless e-Government connectivity and complementing the Government policy thrust of enhancing the ease of doing business,” he said.
“The online platform will improve the sharing of vital information to the other nine provinces that were not receiving the board’s services.”
Other members of the board are Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Mrs Charity Charamba, Mrs Bona Chikore, Mrs Runyararo Magadzire, Chief Nyamukoho Samson Katsande, Mr Regis Chikowore, Mr Shingai Rukwata Ndoro, Mr Chenjerai Daitai, Mr Tungamirai Muganhiri and Catholic priest Father Fidelis Mukonori.