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Censorship Board steps up song review

The Malawi Government Censorship Board has come out to appeal to the general public to make submissions of any song that is of doubtful moral rating for assessment and formal decision.

The board made the call through an advert placed in Malawi News of April 14-20 2018 on the subject Periodic Review of Songs with Doubtful Moral Content.

Censorship Board early this year faced pressure from the public following the release of a song ‘Ndizakupanga Rape’ by hip hop artist Mwiza Chavura.

The song was later banned by the board after reviewing it saying it has contents mocking the modesty of women as well as celebrating sexual violence.

Chief Censoring Officer, Anganile Nthakomwa, said yesterday that they would want to be on their toes to monitor some doubtful songs.

“We are in this drive and this is not to restrict musicians from composing songs but we just want to make sure we have good material,” Nthakomwa said.

She also said they have other plans they want to embark on but are failing to go forward because of inadequate funding.

Following the ban of Chavura’s song, several people said on social media that there were a lot of other songs on the ground which were not in good taste for the public and that they needed to be checked.

In the advert, the Malawi Censorship Board has said that the Malawi is one of the countries with a promising music industry which should be supported by all stakeholders including the government.

The board, however, said that it has noted with great concern proliferation of songs that are out of tune with public morals.

“The content of certain songs is below expectations of perceived moral standards, values and aspirations as a nation,” reads the advert.

The board said apart from assessment of content and approval of films, Censorship Board is empowered to investigate and examine content of songs and other forms of entertainment, in line with the Censorship and Control of Entertainment Act.

The board said it has embarked on a periodic review of songs which are being played, sold, produced, distributed and circulated in Malawi.

Censorship Board has since said that while it appreciates that artists have rights to compose songs of their choice, persons, who may be offended by indecent messages also, have the right to be protected from such material.

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