Amapiano Gig Organizers & Usi Tussle Over Zodwa Wabantu
Organizers of the Winter Amapiano gig this weekend at Dominic’s in Blantyre have insisted South African performer Zodwa Wabantu, popular for stripping on stage, will attend the show as a spectator, despite the government banning the artist.
Biggie Lu of the Pusha Entertainment has told us that according to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Zodwa is allowed to visit, which the line minister Michael Usi last week said that performing in the country will not be in the interest of Malawians.
Biggie Lu says they decided to bring Zodwa nonetheless, because the MOU signed with her management restricts her from stripping.
“We signed a contract with her management team, restricting her from stripping and outlining what Malawians wouldn’t want. The contract said her performance was to perform and undress on stage. We even have security which would ensure that that does not happen, even if she wanted to,” she said.
He adds, “There are no strip clubs in the country, the show will be hosted at an open space. This is why she will attend the show, even as a spectator. You see, we had also already paid her performance money, which she cannot refund according to the contract.”
Meanwhile, Usi has today declared the artist is not allowed to perform in the country, even as a spectator as the organizers say.
He wonders why else Zodwa should come to Malawi, if not for undressing, which is what she knows best, adding this is a way by organizers to sneak her in using a backdoor.
“Our understanding was that she was invited to perform because she strips, and that is what sells. In fact we had information from Zambia, Zimbabwe. We shared information and we heard what happened there. Her strength is in undressing, so she is not allowed to come to the event. She should not come,” said Usi.
Usi adds that this is not war, and meant to suffocate people’s entertainment, but looking at Malawi as a country. He further describes Zodwa as a beautiful actress who is coming to Malawi to do something that is not ordinary, adding it is not necessary to continue arguing.
Cultural studies associate professor Dr. Anthony Gunde says despite that this is contradictory, as similar incidents are prevalent at Malawi’s cultural events, Zodwa should not be allowed because her act is in contrast to the country’s tradition.
“I will give you an example of Buju Banton. Buju Banton was banned in the United States because of some of his music which was found to be derogatory to the gay community. I don’t know if his ban was lifted. So, it is better for the organizers to abide by what the ministry says, for the interest of Malawians,” he said.
The Winter Amapiano Vibes in Blantyre is one of the shows lined up in the Malawi-South Africa Amapiano gigs agreement, which will also see Biggie Lu performing in the rainbow nation soon.