Musician Simphiwe Dana has apologised to Mnakwethu host Musa Mseleku after social media comments in which she criticised the show and insulted him.
In a series of tweets last week, angry Dana slammed the show’s format and accused it of humiliating women.
She said in part: “Is Mnakwethu the African tradition hill y’all are willing to die on? I say y’all because it could never be me. Women being humiliated like this could never have my stamp of approval. Can’t even believe that it’s being flighted. Surely we have rights as women.
“And I’m not against polygamy. I’m a village girl. But this is not fucking polygamy. It’s greed, pure and simple. Nx
“Polygamy is only warranted for 2 reasons. 1. You are rich and have lots of land that needs to be overseen. 2. Your wife cannot bear your children. And in both instances, your wife chooses your second wife, in cahoots with her mother in law. So f*ck Musa Mseleku and his tiny d*ck.”
Mnakwethu – a show about men asking their wives for permission to take a second a wife – has been highly criticised by viewers for disrespecting women, among other reasons.
The show trends every week, with social media users criticising either Mseleku or the format of the show, saying it embarrasses women. Mseleku was probably chosen as the host because he is also a polygamist with his own show, Uthando Nes’thembu, which gives viewers an inside look at the dynamics of his marriages. He has also been criticised for the way he handles cases.
In a statement on Monday, Mzansi Magic said it was not intended to bring harm to the women featured in it. The channel also apologised to Mseleku for Dana’s comments.
Mzansi Magic’s Philly Kubheka said: “It is unfortunate that Musa Mseleku, our host for Mnakwethu which airs on Channel 161 on Tuesdays, was attacked on social media on 23 February 2020. The show was not intended to bring harm to the women featured in it, the Zulu culture and most importantly its host Musa Mseleku.
“The series was designed to stimulate conversation around social issues that are dealt with in private, however, they affect the broader society. We are a platform that provides compelling content which is aimed at evoking and not provoking emotions through illustrating societal norms that reflect the dynamics that come with marriage and mistresses.”
I have watched a few episodes of Umnakwethu in disbelief over the past few weeks. As a feminist, the emotional abuse and humiliation of women on the show really hurt and angered me greatly. As a result I personalized that anger and took it out on Musa Mseleku.
— #BamakoIsHere (@simphiwedana) March 3, 2020
Now Dana has apologised and says she should have found a better way to vent out her anger.
“As a feminist, the emotional abuse and humiliation of women on the show really hurt and angered me greatly. As a result, I personalised that anger and took it out on Musa Mseleku. I unreservedly apologise for this. For any hurt I have caused him, I am truly sorry…
“Had there been cognisance of women’s plight and adequate research on our cultural practices, and furthermore, the will to steer society away from harmful patriarchal practices – this show Umnakwethu would never have aired in its current format. Still, my utterances were unfortunate with regards to his personhood. And for that, I hope he accepts my apology.”