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Diamond Platnumz warned against fighting TZ govt over songs ban

By THOMAS MATIKO
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Celebrated bongo flava Diamond Platnumz is not taking the Tanzanian Government’s ban on his songs “Waka” and “Hallelujah” lying down.

The banned songs, which were 15 in total as they included others from various artists, were described as dirty and raunchy” and therefore could not be played in local TV or radio stations.

While launching his album in Kenya a week ago, Diamond told this interviewer that he was yet to receive official communication about the man.

But he was not done with his comments yet.

In a series of interviews with Tanzanian radio stations, Diamond took on the Assistant Minister for Communication, Art and Sports Juliana Shonza.  

Diamond wondered aloud why his songs were banned yet rapper Nicki Minaj’s raunchy videos still received massive airplay.

Calling the banning decision silly, he urged Ms Shonza to take time to understand market dynamics first and consult with different parties before making such decisions.

He went on to tell her that banning of his songs didn’t bother him because they were distributed outside Tanzania and he can as well perform them outside the country.

Assitant Minister Juliana Shonza. PHOTO| THOMAS MATIKOAssitant Minister Juliana Shonza. PHOTO| THOMAS MATIKO
Minutes later, Ms Shonza responded by saying that she wasn’t going to indulge Diamond’s comments made on the radio station and social media because he didn’t follow the right procedure of addressing his issues which is  communicating to the  minister’s office through a  letter.

This appeared to have irked Diamond even more as he took to his Twitter account to attack the Assistant Minister again by posting “Swala la Barua Unalijua leo baada ya Kukosa Point sahihi? Ungekuwa unajua kama taratibu sahihi ni Kuandika Barua, Mbona hukuwatumia pia Wasanii barua zakuwa unafungia kazi zao? Kwa kuwa uliyapeleka Social Media na Radio, nami nikakupelekea huko ili uenjoy Zaidi.”

(Is it when you noticing the importance of a letter? Why didn’t you write letters to the artistes informing them of your decision to ban their songs in the first place? As for addressing the issues on radio and social media, you started it so enjoy the show even more.”

The exchange caught the attention of  the minister, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, who jumped to her defence, cautioning Diamond to stop fighting with the government. In a statement sent to newsrooms the Minister says in part: “The Minister for Communication, Heritage, Art and Sports is disappointed with comments made by musician Naseeb Abdul (Diamond) on Times FM radio where he criticised the government for taking action to protect the morals of the country in regards to music. The decision to ban the songs was done as per the law and  were not in any way Assistant Minister Shonza call. Diamond has to understand that Ms Shonza acted on behalf of the government. If Diamond has any complains or issues he should follow the right procedures laid out to address them rather than attacking and undermining a government official doing her  job like he did to Ms Shonza in a very disrespectful manner….”