The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has tightened its video selection criteria making it difficult for local rappers to have their music videos beamed by the state broadcaster.
ZBC is reportedly not accepting rap videos displaying any recognisable commercial logos or those with untraditional footage and exposure of the country’s political, economic and social ills.
ZBC Public Relations Manager, Sivhukile Simango, could not be reached for comment over the matter by the time of going to press.
However, a hip-hop presenter known as Prometheus, who presents a ZBC show called Zim Hip-Hop Report, gave five reasons why the broadcaster is turning down various videos.
“When shooting your video, you need to make sure you do not display any recognisable commercial logos, eg Reebok, Nike, Spar, O.K, Mazda. This is viewed as passive advertising and is not acceptable. Make sure there is no lewd dressing, suggestive dancing, graphic displays of violence or sexual acts,” he stated.
The former rapper added that rap videos should not depict the country in a negative way.
“Video depicting pot-holes, sewage flowing streams, rampant unemployment or any form of political commentary is likely not to be played,” he stated.
Rap artists who spoke to The Zimbabwean said the criteria defied the whole essence of rap music and accused the sole broadcaster of stunting creativity, advocacy and activism.
“It is known the world over that rap is about bling, swag and showing off. How then can the movement be exciting when we are not allowed to dress in the latest labels and fashion in our music videos?” queried a Mutare-based rapper who declined to be named.