Winky D says Zim artists not free to express views on human rights

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By Idah Mhetu

MULTI-AWARD-winning dancehall singer Winky D on Monday said local artists were not free to express views on issues concerning human rights without being labelled political.

The dancehall chanter said this during a media brief by HIFA and the Netherlands Embassy while commemorating the Human Rights Day and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through a unique five-day film and live music tour to five suburbs in Harare and Chitungwiza.

“As artists, in terms of expressing our views, it is very difficult to mention things concerning human rights without being labelled political.” he said.

Winky D, Wallace Chirumiko, further promised his music fans that this weekend he will express himself without fear.

“On Saturday, I am going to be expressing myself to the fullest without fear and without bias,” he added.

The Right Stuff Human Rights Week activities will be rolled out in a partnership between the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA).

A host of top local artists who include Winky D, Jah Signal, Killer T, Freeman as well as the Female DJ Movement will also be performing at the screenings to support the message around human rights awareness through music.

“The event is aimed at promoting wider awareness on issues surrounding human rights.

“From 11th to 15th December, the embassy will screen the comedy ‘A Goat for a Vote’ in Mabvuku, Hatcliffe, Epworth, St Mary’s and Seke,” Hifa’s associate executive director, Tafadzwa Simba said.

Starting at Zimunhu Shopping Centre on 11 December, the screenings and musical performances will then move to Hatcliffe Shopping Centre on 12 December, Chigovanyika Shopping Centre in St Mary’s (Chitungwiza) on 13 December, Ziko Shopping Centre in Seke on 14 December and will end at Overspill Shopping Centre in Epworth on 15 December.

“The activities will run from 6pm until 9pm at each venue on the designated days.

“‘A Goat for a Vote’ was produced in Kenya in 2013, and the story takes a comic look at the conduct of an election of student representatives at a school. Mirroring many themes common around the world, the film invites viewers to think about their own situations and actions,” said the Ambassador of Netherlands to Zimbabwe Barbra Van Hellenmond.