Homophobic: Zimbabwean dancehall star Dhadza D
Zimbabwean reggae and dancehall performers have started publicly expressing anti-gay views to their fans, emulating some of their infamous international counterparts.
Jamaican artists in the genre have come under fire for their homophobic performances and song lyrics since the early 1990s.
They’ve faced boycotts and concert cancellations in Europe and the US due to their dangerous bigotry, which has included calling for gay people to be killed.
Now, according to The Herald, the music genre’s Zimbabwean stars “are taking a cue from Jamaican artistes who for long have condemned homosexuality.”
The newspaper reports that local dancehall artists who recently performed in Harare used the concert to attack gay people.
Dhadza D urged the crowd to “Raise your hands up if you’re not gay,” to enthusiastic applause from the crowd.
Two other artists, Soul Jah Love and Jiggaz, are reported to have also taken “the opportunity to denounce homosexuality.”
The newspaper commented that “judging from the comments made by a number [of] Zim dancehall artistes, it was clear homosexuality has no place in the genre as it is considered a foreign culture.”
Jamaica’s Beenie Man is among the best-known examples of homophobic dancehall performers.
In his hit song Damn, he sings: “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the queers.” Another of his popular recordings, Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man Queer Man), instructs listeners to kill gay DJs and boasts that people would gladly go to jail for killing a queer.
Under pressure by British activist Peter Tachell’s Stop Murder Music campaign, Beenie Man and two other dancehall acts signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, denouncing homophobia in 2007.
Days later Beenie Man denied having signed the agreement, despite Tachell releasing the signed document to the media. The performer has continued to make contradictory statements on the issue.