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Why Diamond won’t Survive BASATA, Mwanza is just the Beginning

A lot has been happening in Diamond Platnumz’s life for the whole of this year. Between breaking up with Zari and getting some of his songs banned, you really can’t tell which is worse than the other. Let’s just say 2018 was bittersweet for the Iyena hitmaker. Judging by the number of collaborations he has done since last year especially with reputable artists like Omarion, Morgan Heritage, Rick Ross, and Patoranking, you could say he has become a world-class hit. But taking a deeper look under the hood, there are numerous forces that are trying to sabotage the artist locally.

True, he might be doing a show almost every other week outside East Africa and particularly in America, but the same isn’t happening in his home country. As we speak, the singer is counting some good money after his Edmonton performance in Canada and just a few hours before Edmonton, he was in Montreal performing again. However, back home Tanzania’s National Arts Council, BASATA (or if you like Baraza la Sanaa Tanzania) is crucifying Platnumz for his overly erotic lyrical works. Just about a day ago, the Arts council banned his new song titled Mwanza which he did with RayVanny.

As of now, Mwanza has racked up a fine of about Ksh 400,000 from Basata. Well, some might argue that this is only a way to extort money from the successful singer, but others are in support of the move. The main bone of contention between BASATA and Naseeb Abdul Juma’s songs is morality. His songs have constantly been deemed as immoral and vulgar not to mention misleading to upcoming Bongo artists.

According to some of the officials of the council like Godfrey Mngereza, successful artists like Diamond should be on the frontline defending the moral fabric of society through music. What Naseeb can’t tell Mngereza and his counterparts is that Sex Sells. Actually, if you do a simple audit of all of Platnumz’s songs, you will note that there is a linear correlation between how intolerable the lyrics are and the number of hits and streams on YouTube and related music streaming websites. Apparently, the more vulgar and voluptuous the song is the more the hits.

Now it’s likely that the Sikomi crooner won’t change his trend now that by doing so, he would considerably reduce his earnings and live performances. However, by not amending his lyrics in his upcoming songs, BASATA will remain at his heels, fining him at every possible chance they get.

Remember his songs Zigo (Kula Kwa Macho) which he did featuring AY and Kwangwaru ft Harmonize? These barely escaped hefty fines from the authorities. Actually, Zigo was banned by the council back in 2016. Word has it that some politicians even want Diamond to be banned from performing music in Tanzania. The only option that he has is to go back to his old musical trends, like how he started out well with Mbagala and Kesho. 

Earlier this year, (April) police arrested the artist over indecency, where Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, who is Tanzania’s Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports cited that the singer could be prosecuted over indecency and violating the country’s cybercrime laws. In the previous month, before his arrest, the Tanzanian government banned about thirteen songs including Waka Waka and Hallelujah which he did featuring Morgan Heritage.

The fines accrued on Mwanza might just be the beginning of a rocky journey for Diamond and his WCB crew. It’s unfortunate that he will also be dragging some of his key men in Wasafi Records with him. For instance, Rayvanny is also a named offender in Mwanza’s retribution. Both artists will be paying close to half a million Kenyan shilling in fines for the song, not to mention that they also risk getting banned from being played on the airwaves in all East African countries. Will Platnumz survive BASATA? well, that is still unclear, we can only wish him the Best. His music is a masterpiece to revere, only that at times he crosses the line between sexy and sexist.

Image courtesy of IG#diamond_tweets


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