Zambia has barred South African entertainer Zodwa Wabantu from entering the country to “avoid corrupting public morals”.
National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Godfridah Sumaili told state-run newspaper The Times of Zambia that the government would not allow Zodwa to “strut her stuff anywhere in the country”.
"It is clear we are a Christian nation and we uphold the values of morality and ethics… as a nation, we cannot allow such. I mean, someone performing without underwear, there's no morality there," she was quoted as saying.
Zodwa, a controversial dancer, is popular in southern Africa for her salacious dancing and not wearing panties.
She was due to perform in Lusaka at the weekend during the launch of an album titled Pandemonium by Zambian musician Karasa Karayo.
The decision to ban her sparked a heated debate online with some Zambians criticising the government.
Owas Mwape, an actor and comedian, said the government’s stance was “pretentious and hindering the growth of the entertainment industry”.
Singer and radio personality Emmanuel Nyoni said despite not being a fan of the dancer, the minister’s statement on Zodwa performing without underwear was “both a lowdown and hypocritical”.
The organisers of the concert are yet to comment.
Ms Sumaili said the show promoter had not applied for a permit for Zodwa but that the government would not grant it.