Women’s rights activists are demanding the Malawi Censorship Board to wake up and start acting on artistic material considered obscene by the public.
The call comes after Mwiza Chavura, a local hip hop artist, released a song which they believe is glorifying rape.
The rapper who goes by the stage name Chavura released the song, titled Ndizakupanga Rape, in which he sings about a woman refusing to be in a relationship with a man, who then contemplates raping her.
Over the past week, social media has been flooded with mixed views on the song by artist Chavura.
Some have criticized the artist while others believe he is being judged unfairly.
Several organisations, including his fellow artists have condemned the song saying it is promoting bad behaviour in the society.
According to the Women’s Legal Resources Centre (WOLERC) and the non-governmental organisation, Gender Coordination Network, the song does not deserve to be in the public domain and should be banned.
These organisations and the public have called on the Malawi Censorship Board to act on the matter immediately.
Speaking to Capital FM, WOLREC’s Communications Manager Dumase Zgambo Mapemba wants the song to be banned.
“That song was not supposed to be in the public domain in the first place because it is encouraging rape and it is bad especially for the youth as it is a rap song which is young people listen to a lot,” Mapemba said.
Apart from the mastermind, the public also blames the websites that had the song available for download.
One of those is Malawi Music.com which has since issued a public apology.
The country has however seen a lot of songs similar to this particular one, but there has never been such a reaction.
In the 21st century, where rights are of absolute significance, how can artists exercise their right to expression, without crossing boundaries of social acceptability?
A renowned radio personality Joy Nathu is of the view that artists should concentrate on the lyrical content when composing songs.
In an interview with Capital FM, Chavura has apologized to the nation even though he feels he has been misunderstood.
“The song was not meant to degrade women in any way. I am taking full responsibility for the song.
The song has two parts and the second part of it condemns rape while the first part gives a picture of a rapists’ mind,” Chavura explained,
Rape is not only a crime but also an inhumane act that often leaves the victim mentally scarred.
Most people who have commented on social media believe the song is demeaning to women and girls, more so those who have ever fallen victim to rape or any form of sexual abuse.
The country’s censorship board is expected to release a statement, in reaction to the developments.