Diamond Platnumz at crossroads, told to cancel Wasafi Festival performance

Dr Harrison Mwakyembe and Diamond Platnumz [Photo: Courtesy]

Tanzanian singer Diamond Platnumz may be forced to cancel his Wasafi Festival performance in Iringa.

This is after the country’s Minister of Information, Sports, Arts and Culture Dr Harrison Mwakyembe pressed upon the singer to cancel his appearance in honour of Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni Festival (JAMAFEST).

An event that is set to kick off in Dar es Salaam, 502 kilometres from Iringa, on the same date Diamond’s flagship project is to launch on September 21.

According to Mwakyembe, Diamond should demonstrate patriotism by cancelling his act and instead join other East African nations in JAMAFEST.

The minister explained that the Wasafi Classic Baby (WCB) boss should take a cue from his Ugandan counterparts who turned up for the festival when the event's 2017 edition was held in their country.

“Nimempigia simu kijana wetu nyota wa muziki barani Afrika na pia ulimwenguni ukipenda, Diamond kwamba sasa huu ndio muda wa kuonesha utaifa, hebu njoo ujiunge na sisi. Na atakuwa na ziara siku hiyo mkoani Iringa, nimemwambia avunje ziara hiyo kwa utaifa, nafikiri atafanya hivyo.

"Kwa sababu tulipokuwa Uganda wasanii wote wakubwa nchini humo walihudhuria kwenye tamasha,” said Mwakyembe.

The festival, according to the East African Community (EAC), is an event geared towards the 'promotion of regional integration with culture as a primary catalyst for sustainable development'.

Rwanda held the first edition on February 2013 under the theme, “Fostering the East African Community Integration through Cultural Industries.”

Kenya took the mantle of the bi-annual festival in 2015 with thousands in attendance at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

Uganda’s 2017 edition boasted over 150 artistes taking the stage at the iconic Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. The 4th edition will be held at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam.


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