Tanzania: Rapper banned from music industry indefinitely

10 August 2016

ney wa mitego tanzania
The Tanzanian National Arts Council (Basata) banned popular rapper Nay wa Mitego (real name Emmanuel Elibariki) from participating in the music industry indefinitely due to “immoral content” in his latest song ‘Pale Kati Patamu’, reported Tanzanian news outlet The Citizen on 28 July 2016.

“We have barred him from performing in Tanzania indefinitely,” Basata executive secretary Godfrey Mngereza said. “He must meet conditions that we have set for him if the ban is to be lifted.”

Some of the conditions, which were reached with the rapper according to Mngereza, include the payment of a million Shilling fine (approx. USD $450), revision of the lyrics to reflect Tanzanian values and a public apology to the people of Tanzania.

The rapper said he would work on the conditions and was not aware the arts council needed to screen songs before public release. However, earlier in February 2016, Basata banned another one the rapper’s songs – ‘Shika Adabu Yako’ – for “compromising national values”.

In a statement reported by IPP Media, Mngezera said Basata had “warned him several times, but it seems he has been doing these things intentionally” and that the council would not “tolerate artists whose works go against national ethics”. He also reminded that the council has the responsibility to protect ethics through Basata Act number 23 of 1984.

This is the not the first time that the rapper’s songs, which often feature socio-political lyrics that target politicians and popular entertainers, have caused problems for him. In 2013 he received death threats for his song ‘Salaam Zao’ (Greetings) in which he sends greetings to the president and entertainment heads to not participate in corruption.

Growing climate of harsh censorship
In the last year, Nay wa Mitego has become the third musician in Tanzania who suffered harsh bans from Basata.

In May 2016 the video for ‘Chura’, a song by Bongoflava artist Snura Mushi, was banned due to “immoral acts” featured in the video. However, Mushi herself was also banned from performing in the country until the video was edited.

Further, the arts council also banned the distribution of the video online in any manner, including via social media, and stated that not just the artist, but people who distributed the video would also be charged according to the 2014 Cyber Crime Act.

Earlier, in 2015, fellow female Bongoflava artist Shilole was handed a year-long ban from performing after videos and photos of her performance in Antwerp, Belgium were deemed “immoral” due to her revealing attire.

Photo from artist’s Facebook page


» The Citizen – 28 July 2016:
Ney wa Mitego’s ‘dirty’ song earns him an indefinite ban

» IPP Media – 17 July 2016:
Basata bans New wa Mitego song, initiates legal steps

More from Freemuse

» 19 May 2016: Tanzania: Artist banned from performing due to “immoral” video

» 29 October 2013: Tanzania: Musician receives death threats for political song

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