Ugandan Pop star facing Ten Years Prison for Music Video
NEW DELHI: Jeremiah Kansiime, a Ugandan pop star, is staring at a 10 year sentence for the ‘pornographic’ video she recently released to promote her music.
Going by the name ‘Panadol Wa Basajja’, which means ‘medicine for men’, Kansiime is seen as wearing skimpy clothes, thongs and all, with camera affixed at her body specially to stimulate the viewers.
She was jailed for five weeks before being released on bail. Many critics claim that the severe punishment which the singer is risking is a result of a loosely defined Anti-pornography Law, drafted last year to exterminate the menace of pornography completely from Uganda.
The singer pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges levelled at her, while her manager, Didi Muchwa Mugisha, pleaded guilty and got away by paying a fine of 200,000 Ugandan shillings or 43 GBP.
Her video has been seen 140, 000 times on You tube. She and her manager were arrested last year in November.
The Ugandan anti-pornography law defined pornography as, “ any representation, through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent show, information technology or by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or stimulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual excitement,” and it was drafted to, “create the offence of pornography which is blamed for sexual crimes against women and children including rape, child molestation and incest.”
After the bill was passed, many conservative Ugandans perceived it as a sanction against revealing clothing and started an agitation to proscribe women from wearing ‘miniskirts’. A number of women were assaulted and made to undress in public for wearing minis, which was followed by a string of protests by women against the injunction. In the case Kansiime, men have taken to social media to com-ndemn as her a ‘slut’ and as a ‘disgrace to Uganda’.
“I have only one advice for this lady and her producers, can they look for a country where pornography is allowed and openly [enacted] instead [of] painting the image of Uganda and Ugandan musicians [as] dirty like this,” says a user named Ercogwal Konyipe on YouTube. “Disgusting.”
Another user named Sam Chemutai wrote, “Indeed this woman needs prayer, let all Ugandanese stop copying western culture, let them respect [their] culture, and do what is good for them and the public.”
However, western media is not behind in flaying Uganda’s ultra-restrictive obscenity measures. A commentator from Telegraph who called the incident shocking said, “the camera zooms in on her thong and YouTube has made it an age-restricted video. But it's certainly shouldn't be classified as porn - which is typically defined as the portrayal of sexual acts, for the purpose of sexual arousal. Kansiime's sole purpose is to promote her music.”
Meanwhile, Kasiime is aware of the enormity of the misconstrued charges. Speaking from her home in Kampala, she said,” "My rights have been trampled upon, my freedom of expression has been trampled upon,"