South African socialite dancer Zodwa Wabantu has been banned from Zimbabwe after she refused to “compromise her brand” and dance while wearing panties for the Harare International Carnival.
According to Zimbabwe’s acting minister of Tourism and Hospitality Patrick Zhuwao, the Durban based dancer who always dances without wearing any undergarments will not grace the carnival as she is unwilling to abide by the rules imposed by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
Zodwa was supposed to perform at thealongside Lingala musician Werrason together with Brazilian and Cuban dancers on September 6.
The uproar over the performance of Zodwa happened after Zimbabwean actress Anne Nhira complained the South African socialite should not be invited because she was a foreigner, dressed scantily and was a lesbian.
In a response letter to Nhira, Zhuwao stated: “The government position is that the artist concerned, Zodwa Wabantu, may not participate at the Harare International Carnival. In this regard, relevant authorities have been notified.”
Speaking to The Star (Zimbabwe) yesterday, Nhira said: “This is an international event to promote the image of Zimbabwe. She is not Zimbabwean, and if we want dancers to perform at the event, there are local dancers who can do it.
“We don’t want a person who will tarnish our image as a country. She does her entertainment half-naked and she has publicly acknowledged that she is a lesbian.”
But the CEO of Zimbabwe’s state broadcaster ZBC, Karikoga Kaseke said Zodwa was free to bring her act to Harare, especially since she was “well received in Bulawayo” – a city largely viewed as conservative compared to the capital.
“I hope she will have her panties. If she cannot perform in panties then we don’t want her because chiefs (traditional leaders) will not like it,” he added
The Harare International Carnival is hosted by the ZTA for a week.