‘Everyone wants me to change’ – Zodwa Wabantu on being deported from Zambia

2018-03-12 16:43
PHOTO: Gallo images/ Getty images

Cape Town - Zodwa Wabantu arrived in Zambia on Friday, only to be told to wait hours in an airport office.

The entertainer was then asked to go to a hotel room provided for her and was told that she’d be deported back to South Africa the next day on the first 05:20 GMT flight.

According to Reuters, the dancer was deported on grounds that her performance would “undermine national values”.

Zodwa, who was booked to perform in Zambia on Saturday but didn’t, spoke to DRUM on Monday about the ordeal.

Tell us about the experience of your deportation?

Around 15:30 they told me I’m going to be last to get off the plane, then the authorities came and they never said anything to me.

I thought I was being taken by the event organisers or getting special treatment by authorities because I’m a celebrity, only to be taken to the airport office, where they awaited calls from the official in charge of immigration.

How did you feel?

I tried to be calm because I didn’t know what was happening. I was not scared because I didn’t do anything. They also made me comfortable, saying, ‘you didn’t do anything Zodwa, and it’s just that it’s the law of Zambia’."

What reasons did they give you for being deported?

Nothing, I even asked. But they were nice towards me, they said 'it’s not you, it’s the law'. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I don’t wear panties. They never said anything to me.

What are you going to do about the way you were treated?

I’m not going to do anything. I’m okay, I’m an entertainer, let them fight between their powers.

Maybe it’s their way of making South Africans aware that they’re Zambians. Maybe it’s beyond what you and I know, maybe it’s about power and politics.  

Do you feel they want you to change as a person?

Yes, I think so. I think everyone wants me to change, you know? I’m a woman, I’m free, I’m able to do what I want, it’s my body. It’s my choice not wearing a panty.

But you know everyone makes it as if I go on stage and say, ‘hi everyone I’m not wearing a panty’, as if I’m showing my p****.

I don’t wear the panty – that’s all.

My fans say, ‘Zodwa we see you are not wearing a panty, we love you because you are not wearing a panty. I’m an entertainer, as in allowing my fans to tell me what to do – not people who aren’t party goers and who don’t support what I do.

 Zambia’s constitution states that it is a Christian nation, are you a Christian?

No, I don’t want to say I am. It’s just a name, whether you say you’re a saint or a churchgoer, those words are just what society wants.

But the question is – who are you, do you live according to God or the right way?