Tanzania: Hip-hop musicians threatened by religious group



Hip-hop musicians threatened by religious group

‘Stern and prompt measures’ will be taken against any musician who use the name of Jesus Christ in song lyrics, warned a religious spokesperson to the newspaper Majira   

By Lingson Adam, reporting for Freemuse from Arusha in Tanzania

A member of Common God International, a Christian denomination in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Elias Mzaliwa has warned popular artists in the country not to use the name of Jesus Christ in their songs. He stated that he and his various fellow Christians were determined to drag to court of law any artist who will use the name of Jesus Christ in their creations and performances

Speaking to journalists at Majira, a local Swahili-language daily in Tanzania, the devoted Christian was referring to Amani Temba, alias Mheshimiwa Temba and Kalama Masoud, also known as Kalapina, both of whom are popular musicians of hip-hop which is popularly know as ‘Bongo flavour or the Music of the new generation’.

Temba and Kalapina have at different times come up with singles which allude to Jesus Christ in different manners.

Elias Mzaliwa cites the song ‘Mwaka wa Shetani’ (‘The Year of the Devil’) sung by Mheshimiwa Temba as one of the ‘most disgusting songs’. In the song the artist sings: “HPC kila mwaka itarudi itarudi, hata Yesu alisema atarudi mpaka leo hajarudi” which means: “HPC said they will come back, just as Jesus said he will come back but in vain till now”. HPC is the name of an artistic group.

As regards to Kalapina’s creation, the Christian denounces the song in which the singer narrates that he is more committed (to the art) than Jesus Christ on the cross.

Elias Mzaliwa claims that such statements are meaningless and uncalled for.

“As a devoted Christian I am greatly embarrassed to hear these artists use the sacred name of Jesus Christ in their worldly creations and worse still in such a bad manner,” he said.

He said that he and his fellow believers have forgiven Mheshimiwa Temba and Kalapina for their songs on the premise that they did not know what they were doing, however he insisted that as from now on, stern and prompt measures will be taken to any Bongo flavour or other music who will tamper with the name of the Messiah.


Majira – 29 September 2007

Under fire: Mheshimiwa Temba

Photo from Wikipedia


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