14 May 2018
‘…we don’t have freedom of expression’
Convicted Zim dancehall chanter, Seh Calaz – real name Tawanda Mumanyi – believes that the law is tough on local artistes but foreign music is played without much hustle.
The 27-year-old was last week convicted of contravening the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act, after he recorded the song Hohwa in 2016 when he appeared before a Harare magistrate.
He was found guilty after a full trial and was fined $100 or 30 days behind bars.
Speaking to H-Metro after the trial, Boss Yala as the chanter is fondly known, said:
“From my point of view it was not fair in the sense that the song Hohwa is not even explicitly direct as is insinuated compared to other stuff we hear on local radio, especially international songs.
“If the same measure of scrutiny was to be applied to some international songs, we would not hear them on radio.
“What’s good for the goose must be good for the gander.
“I don’t want to point fingers at anyone, but most chanters have songs like that.”
“I am an artiste and an artiste thrives on freedom of expression, we are not supposed to be confined to one thing or to have blinkers.
“We target party animals and that’s the message they want.
“It’s just like you (journalists), you can’t effectively discharge your mandate when you are being muzzled.
“When singing, I don’t have one message but I keep a style. I sing about different things and I promise that I will not change my style.”
Asked if he blames anyone for leaking the dirty version of the song he said:
“Not at all. I recorded the song so that it reaches people.
“I did not record it to hide it or store it in a place which is out of reach.
“Basically I am saying there must be a balance in terms of enforcing laws and also not hindering our right to express ourselves as artistes.
“If you critically look at it, it means we can’t sing anything because it is subject to unnecessary scrutiny.”
The Mumota Murikubvira singer also put to task responsible authorities to conduct their research.
“If indeed the authorities are serious, then they should do their own research on this and let’s see what action they will take,” he said.