Tanzania: Musician blocked from travel over new arts council regulations

1 August 2018
Tanzanian musician Diamond Platnumz was blocked from leaving the country for not having an overseas performance permit from the national arts council.
Photo: Diamond Platnumz / Facebook


Popular Tanzanian hip hop artist Diamond Platnumz (real name Naseeb Abdul Juma) was blocked from boarding an international flight on 26 July 2018 because he failed to get a permit from the Tanzanian national arts council—Baraza la Sanaa la Taifa (BASATA)—to perform overseas, Nairobi News reported.

Obtaining an international touring permit, which costs 50,000 Tanzanian shillings (19 euros), is one of a number of controversial new fee regulations BASATA introduced on 1 July, according to Music in Africa.

The council now requires registration and a licence fee of Tsh 20,000 (7.5 euros) for solo musicians, Tsh 40,000 (15 euros) for DJs, Tsh 50,000 (19 euros) for music promoters and Tsh 500,000 (190 euros) for advertising bodies that work with artists.

Foreign artists from other African nations have to pay between Tsh 1 million and 1.5 million (375 to 565 euros) to perform in Tanzania.

BASATA was reportedly setting an example for other artists when its officers stopped Diamond Platnumz and his two managers, Babu Tale and Sallam, from boarding a flight to Comoros at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam on 26 July.

At the airport, acting BASATA Director Onesmo Mabuye said artists must also report back to the council upon their return.

“This is not news. Artists are supposed to get permits from us before flying out for shows. This is to ensure that they remain safe and their rights protected even as they fly out. We also do this to officially say goodbye to them and give them our flag when they go out,” Mabuye reportedly told Tanzania Broadcast Corporation, according to popular Kenyan news website Tuko.

Diamond Platnumz, who has almost five million Instagram followers, was questioned by police in April 2018 for alleged indecency after posting a video clip of himself kissing a woman, reported BBC. It came just weeks after the Bongo Flava—the nickname for Tanzanian hip hop—artist’s songs were included in a list of songs banned by the government for being sexually suggestive.

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