The writings were on the wall. When Urban Boyz released the video to their newest track Ancilla there were mixed reactions over whether the trio had gone overboard over what many people termed as “too much Westernization”, the reason being simple and clear – a plethora of obscenities and nudity are predominant features in the song.
It was therefore no surprise that when the song was first posted on internet’s largest streaming website youtube, it attracted as many comments as anyone could guess, with the main bone of contention being that of modernization versus culture.
Well, as it stands the latter has managed to gain the upper hand. On the morning of 18th February 2014 the Ministry of Sports and Culture decided to ban the song from public viewership after the ministry held long talks with Urban Boyz. The two parties reached a “mutual consent” and have agreed that the song will no longer be aired in any public place.
However as they say there are always two sides of a coin and some have come out in strong criticism of the move describing it as biased and unfair. One fan who spoke to rwandashow.com on condition of anonymity said he was saddened by the decision.
“If the ministry was really committed to safeguarding our cultural values, then why don’t they ban other western videos that are played in bars and hangout joints? We normally see artists such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga do worse things than the ones in the video. It’s unfair.”
Nevertheless the Ministry of Sports and Culture insists the resolution was reached for the benefits of Urban Boyz and the Rwandan society in general. Speaking to a celebrity website, Lauren Makuza, the Director of Culture Promotion in the Ministry said the video did not conform to acceptable cultural norms that the Rwandan society so badly needs to attain.
He said, “We have not ordered them (Urban Boyz) to stop the song but instead we have come to a mutual agreement that it does not do any favor to our culture. They have agreed that they will shoot another video in three days’ time to replace the existing one.
They also acknowledge that what they did was wrong considering that we have to safeguard our cultural values.”
It’s not the first time in Rwanda a music video has sparked public uproar. Dr. Jiji once came under fire when he released his most controversial video Antere Ibuye which features numerous girls flaunting their bodies in bikinis by the swimming pool.
Though classified it as x-rated the video escaped the wrath of censorship and is still widely played in public places up to date.