ZAMBIA yesterday deported controversial South African dancer, Zodwa Wabantu, who is known for performing without underwear, on the grounds that her performance would “undermine national values”.
Zambia is known as a conserva- tive 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 said.
He added that she had flown out on a South African Airways flight at 5.20am.
The dancer had been due to perform yesterday in Lusaka at the launch of a music album organised by a local entertainment company, Sunset Sound Production.
The organisers 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.
This is not the first time that Zodwa has been declared persona non grata outside South Africa.
Last year, the Zimbabwean acting minister of tourism and hospitality, Patrick Zhuwao, declared that the South African would not be allowed to perform at the Harare International Carnival.
This happened after Zimbabwean actress Anne Nhira complained that Wabantu should not be invited because she was not a Zimbabwean, dressed scantily and was a lesbian.
In a letter to Nhira, Zhuwao stated: “The government position is that the artist concerned, Zodwa Wabantu, may not participate at the Harare International Carnival. In this regard, relevant authorities have been notified.”
Nhira said at the time: “This is an international event to promote the image of Zimbabwe.
“She is not Zimbabwean, and if we want dancers to perform at the event, there are local dancers who can do it.
“We don’t want a person who will tarnish our image as a country. She does her entertainment half-naked and she has publicly acknowledged that she is a lesbian.”
Zodwa, a 32-year-old mother, was also rebuked by former president Jacob Zuma for her dress sense and for her sexually explicit utterances.
Zuma’s message was conveyed by former ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa to Zodwa’s manager DJ Tira.
Reuters and Staff Reporter