Zambian authorities on Saturday deported controversial South African dancer Zodwa Wabantu after authorities vowed she would not be allowed to perform because she dances without underwear, the dancer’s promoter said.
She had been billed to perform at an album launch later on Saturday evening, but was sent back when she landed in the morning at the Kenneth Kaunda international airport.
“I can confirm that Zodwa has been deported back to South Africa by the immigration department,” her promoter Lucky Munakampe told AFP, adding no reasons were given for her deportation.
Immigration department officials were not reachable on their phones for comment.
Zambia’s religious affairs minister Godfridah Sumaili told AFP last week that Zodwa would not be allowed to perform in the country.
“Zambia is a Christian nation where morality and ethics have to be followed. We don’t expect a woman to dance without underwear,” Sumaili said.
Zambia is a largely conservative country where the majority of people practice Christianity.
In 2017 the censorship board in neighbouring Zimbabwe barred Wabantu from performing at an annual carnival after a protest by a local actress.
Following a backlash, censorship authorities later backtracked and allowed Wabantu to perform at a private venue, but she refused to go saying she was afraid.