1980s Africa

1 January 2001

1980-1990. Mauritania. Malouma Mint El-Meidah
All her songs were forbidden on national radio and television. reason: she criticise in her songs the government and the conservatives.
Source: Moktar Gaouad: ‘Committed to rebellion’, in: Index of Censorship: ‘Smashed Hits’ Volume 27, 6/1998, p. 71-73

1980s. Somalia. Maryam Mursal
Maryam Mursal made her living as musical taxi driver, because she was banned from performing. She was taken in to custody, questioned by police, because her song ulimada is said to contain a devastating critique of the regime.
Source: Ole Reitov: ‘From diva to driver’, in: Index of Censorship’s ‘Smashed Hits Volume’, 27. 6/1998, p. 74

1980s. Sudan. Balabil, Hanan Bulu-bulu. Gisma and Nasra
In the uncertain climate of Sudan’s sharia law the girl group Balabil was banned from television. Islamists hardliners banned the concerts of Hanan Bulu-bulu and beat her up for immoral behavior. Gisma and Nasra were frequently arrested for the irreverent and revealing nature of their songs.

1980. South Africa. Pink Floyd
The South African government banned the Pink Floyd song “Another Brick in the Wall (Part Two).” The song, which includes children chanting the chorus, “We don’t need no education” had been adopted as the anthem for black children who boycotted schools because of inferior education standards.

1984. South Africa. Lucky Dube
In 1984 Lucky Dube recorded his debut reggae album ‘Rastas Never Die’ under Gallo Music. The album was banned by the apartheid government.

1985. South Africa. Stevie Wonder
Radio stations in South Africa banned all of Stevie Wonders records after he dedicated the Oscar he had won on 26 March 1985 at The Academy Awards to Nelson Mandela.

1986. South Africa. Mzwakhe Mbuli

South African poet Mzwakhe Mbuli’s album ‘Change is Pain’ is banned, as the government fear its “influence on revolutionary groups”. Mzwakhe Mbuli began his career in the 1980s by performing poetry at trade union and cultural events as part of the struggle against the apartheid government in South Africa. Throughout this period, the authorities repeatedly detained him.

1989. South Africa. Kalahari Surfers

Because of its title, the album ‘Bigger than Jesus’ by Kalahari Surfers was banned in 1989 for blasphemy and the offending of Christians. The music was later re-released with a new album title, ‘Beach Bomb’. Read more…


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