Bongo superstar Diamond Platnumz has addressed the recent ban of his songs by the Tanzania Communication Authority (TCRA), describing it as harsh.
TCRA last month published a list of 13 songs that have been blacklisted for airplay on any media station in the country. They included two of Diamond’s recent hits with international mega stars – ‘Waka Waka’ featuring American rapper Rick Ross and ‘Hallelujah’ featuring the legendary reggae family Morgan Heritage.
Speaking during the launch of his album, ‘A Boy From Tandale’, Diamond criticised the Tanzanian government for not only punishing artistes but for failing to follow the law in enforcing the ban.
“It’s too harsh a punishment to artistes and doesn’t empower us,” Diamond said.
Asked why he thought the TCRA banned the songs, he said; “Well nafikiri wanasema ni nyimbo ambazo zinazowekwa kwanzia saa tatu, kwenda mbele, zinaruhusiwa kuchezwa kwa radio na TV. Kuna age limit. Sijui ni kwa nini wameziban kabisa, kwa sababu sikuletewa barua, na kisheria inatakikana walete barua.”
The Tanzania Communication Authority (TCRA) had claimed the songs do not meet the moral threshold required for public consumption.
Asked how the ban had affected him, Diamond claimed; “Unapoban nyimbo kama zangu mimi Diamond, kwanza unatia umaskini yani unapunguza revenue katika income ya kuingia, katika taifa. Na kitu kingine, serikali kuna kitu haijajua bado. Lazima serikali zetu zielewe kwamba industry inakuwa. Unajua zamani serikali ilikuwa inacomplain kwa kuwa movie zetu fake sana, watu waki kiss wanasema ni fake sana. Ina maana ili tufanye vitu ziko real, lazima vitu zingine tukubaliene nazo. Na sisi tuko kati kukuza market nje. Ukichukua mtu kama Rick Ross, hawawezi chukua yako nawe ukatae yao.”
The singer also spoke about his album and why he invited American R&B superstar Omarion for the launch in Nairobi at the Kenya National Theatre on Wednesday night.
“Nimemwalika Omarion kutoka America tukiintroduce nyimbo ambazo tumefanya collabo na yeye.”
“This 18-track album is a tribute to my humble beginnings in Tandale, which is a slum in Tanzania. It is where I was raised, with a lot of challenges, but also where I formed my closest bonds with family and friends, who to this day remain my support system. It is the place where amidst all the poverty, I discovered my talent,” Diamond Platnumz said.