By Lameck Masina
The Malawi Government has banned a song by the country’s budding artist Mwiza Chavula following wild reaction from gender activists that the song promotes violence against women.
The song, titled Ndidzakupanga rape is in widely spoken local language in Malawi, Chichewa. It talks about a young a man who sings about rape and dramatizes carrying out a rape scene as a form of revenge on a girl who refused him a sexual relationship.
The song was released in December but got public attention this week after it was widely circulated on social media.
Several women rights organizations called on government to act on the song or get the artist arrested.Violence against women has been a great concern in Malawi.
In September of last year, rights campaigners marched in the Lilongwe after seven women were murdered or disfigured by their partners over the course of a single month.
In statement released today, Thursday, Acting Censorship officer Anganile Nthakomwa says the board has prohibited the song after it thoroughly examined its content using the provisions of Section 23 of the Censorship and Control of Entertainment Act.
“In our considered opinion, the song mocks the modesty of women, seem to be celebrating sexual violence. The song has the potential of influencing the perception of the general public on sexual violence against women, reduces women to sex objects, and offending those who have been victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence,” she says.
The statement says the song should not be reproduced, distributed, sold, offered for sale, kept, or publicly played in Malawi.
Meanwhile Malawi police Service say is looking for Chavula for questioning on the content of his song.
This comes after some legal experts said the song has a criminal element.
The musicians’ mother body, Music Association of Malawi has condemned the artist for “breaching the bounds of artistic integrity” and demeaning women in general.
All the music platforms that uploaded the song have so far removed it from their platform and some of them have apologized.
Chavula has so far apologized to the nation through his Facebook page saying his song was not intended to offend anyone.
“I was planning to release the second part in which the man who was raping the woman gets arrested,” he said.
However, the Censorship Board says it will soon embark on a periodic review of songs which are being played, sold, produced, distributed and circulated in Malawi.