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In a startling development, Zimbabwe’s celebrated dancehall artiste Winky D is facing an unprecedented censorship campaign by state-run media outlets.
Senior staffers at ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation), Zimpapers, and radio station Star FM have confirmed receiving an unwritten order to shut out Winky D.
The censorship on Winky D started just weeks after his highly anticipated album, “Eureka Eureka,” hit the airwaves on December 31 last year. The Economic Empowerment Group (EEG) even called on state security and censorship boards to prevent Winky D from performing within the country altogether.
Producers at ZBC Pockets Hill, confirmed to a local publocation NewZimbabwe.com, the existence of the directive not to play Winky D’s songs.
“You will not hear Winky D being played on ZBC’s radio stations, that is impossible. We were given clear instructions not to play Winky D’s music, and though we knew the reasons behind it, we were not allowed to challenge the decision,” disclosed a producer at Pockets Hill.
A presenter from Star FM also revealed that they are no longer permitted to play any of Winky D’s music.
“We are no longer allowed to play any of Winky D’s music. probably only ZiFM Stereo is playing his songs but even they are shying away from those which are deemed political,” said a Star FM presenter.
Recently, Star FM, known for its July programming campaign featuring local artists under the hashtag #ZimNtulikazi, caused further uproar when they excluded Winky D out of their promotional posters. This omission led to widespread backlash from thousands of disappointed fans, who perceived the move as excessive censorship.
The exclusion of Winky D from the airwaves has ignited debates surrounding artistic freedom and media independence in Zimbabwe. Critics argue that such bans stifle creativity and limit the voices of artists who aim to express themselves and address societal issues through their music.