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Tanzania Government Bans Song Claiming It Promotes Spread of AIDS

July 25, 2002

The Tanzanian government has banned a popular dance song that contains the verse saying, "Give me AIDS, Give me AIDS, Give me AIDS, so that I can suffer with it," claiming it promotes the spread of the disease, Executive Secretary Shogholo Chali of Tanzania's National Arts Council said Wednesday. "We believe the song contains a message that goes against efforts to fight AIDS," Chali said. The ban was imposed Tuesday, he said. The song, entitled "Segere" ("Give me, I give you") and sung in Swahili by the Young Stars Modern Taraab, is only three months old. Earlier this month, the song was mentioned in parliament for making a mockery of the fight against AIDS. The government is not considering legal action against the group unless it refuses to accept the ban, Chali said, but the song should not be aired on radio or television stations or performed in concerts. Its distribution and sale have also been outlawed. An estimated 2 million of Tanzania's 32 million people are infected with HIV.

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Excerpted from:
Associated Press
07.24.02; George Mwangi

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