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Tanzanian superstars Whozu, Mbosso and Billnass to pay fines after Basata lifts ban

Tanzanian music sensations Whozu, Mbosso, and Billnass will collectively pay the government Tsh9 million after the Baraza La Sanaa La Taifa (Basata) lifted the ban on their engagement in music activities, which had been imposed by the country’s arts regulatory authority.

The National Arts Council of Tanzania, Basata, had initially banned the three artists from participating in artistic activities for a three-month period, starting from November 4, 2023.

This decision was a response to public outcry on social media over the controversial music video, ‘Ameyatimba’ remix by Whozu featuring Mbosso and Billnass.

The artists faced accusations of promoting and glorifying rape and sodomy.

Following an appeal by the three superstars, the ban has been lifted, but fines have been imposed to allow them to resume their artistic endeavors while adhering to Tanzanian ethics.

The decisions were reached in a session led by the Minister of Culture, Arts, and Sports, Dr. Damas Ndumbaro, and his Deputy Minister, Hamis Mwinjuma, popularly known as Mwana FA, at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Whozu is required to pay a fine of Sh304,221 (Tsh5 million), Billnass Sh60,844 (Tsh1 million), and Mbosso Sh182,533 (Tsh3 million).

While their bans have been lifted, compliance with the fines is mandatory before they can resume their artistic work.

As part of the agreement, Whozu has since removed the song ‘Ameyatimba’ remix from all digital platforms.

This recent disciplinary action by BASATA follows the ban of another song earlier in August.

Veteran Tanzanian rapper Emmanuel Elibariki, popularly known as Ney wa Mitego, released a song titled ‘Amkeni’ that sparked controversy in the predominantly conservative country.

In ‘Amkeni,’ Ney wa Mitego openly criticized the administration of President Samia Suluhu, causing the song to be swiftly banned by Tanzania’s National Art Council, BASATA.

Ney wa Mitego’s song explicitly targeted the government, labeling it as corrupt and accusing President Suluhu, Tanzania’s first female President, of engaging in a series of publicity campaigns while allegedly failing to fulfill her promises.