Sunday, January 06, 2013

Musicians defend weekend pictures

Musicians defend weekend pictures
By Joseph Mwenda
Sun 06 Jan. 2013, 14:20 CAT

MUSICIANS in Zambia have defended the use of pictures depicting skimpily dressed patrons in nightclubs by newspapers.

Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) president Maiko Zulu says it is unfair for the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Kennedy Sakeni to condemn the media for merely bringing to light what is prevailing in society.

On Friday, Sakeni who is also chief government spokesperson said government condemns the use of pictures depicting scantily dressed persons socialising in nightclubs, adding that the "porno" was slowly corrupting the morals of Zambians.

But in separate interviews, the musicians spoken to said editions like the Weekend Post and Weekend Mail have only exposed what goes on in society for people, including those in government, to see.

"Societies are reflected through the media and art, and Zambia is not a clean society. I think in this country people are hypocrites because we condemn these images but look at how many people rush to buy the Weekend Post on Friday to see those same images," Zulu said.

He said the media should not stop exposing the morals of our society but should try to find ways of warning the reader of explicit content in a given edition.

Dalitso Phiri, commonly known as Dalisoul, said music in Zambia has attracted many youths as a self-employment sector because of the support of the media.

"For me as mwana wamukomboni, I don't see why the minister should address the concerns to the media. People have to understand that the journalists come to our events to publicise our shows. They do not force people to dance carelessly. So it is not the journalist's fault if someone jumps on stage and undresses, at the same time, it is not my fault as a musician," Phiri said.

"We don't fight, we don't encourage violence and our aim is to entertain people and we are grateful to The Post and other publications for the good work that they are doing," Runnel Chikopela said democracy is about allowing citizens to choose what they like.

"I don't understand why that should come about in a democratic society. I think people should be allowed to choose. If they like the Weekend Post pictures, let them buy the newspaper, if they don't they can choose to stop buying, that's the solution," said Chikopela.

Mirriam Mukape, alias "Mampi", wondered why the government has not expressed concern over the use of semi-nude pictures of traditional dancers at cultural ceremonies.

"Yes, maybe the media should choose what to publish and sometimes edit your pictures, but at the end of the day people will continue dressing the way they do. It would not be a solution to see the Weekend Post banned from publishing because there are people who dress worse during some traditional ceremonies but you don't see anyone complain," said Mukape.

Danny 'Kaya' Siulapwa said news reporters are tools used to reflect trends of a given society.

"It's like a musician, if you see AIDS is killing too many people, you sing about AIDS; if you see corruption, you sing about it and that's what the newspapers do.

This does not happen every weekend. I think 80 per cent of the content published by the Weekend Post is fair. But sometimes the pictures are too much, only because that particular weekend, that is what was trending in the entertainment circles," said Siulapwa.

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