I was at sixes and sevens when I bumped into a video by Eliza Mponya on GBS television one good afternoon. My misgivings popped up when I saw how the music video had dramatised the abduction and killing of people with albinism – I hope this is right as there is a raging debate on how best to address brothers and sisters with this condition.
The issue of people with albinism has left most of us with no better explanation on what really is the driving motive behind their persecution and not surprising colleagues in the music industry have tried to come up with a few compositions.
But one effort done by Eliza Namponya is an attempt to do justice on the plight of people with albinism which is not vain.
If you have an opportunity watch Eliza’s track titled ‘Muloleranji’ from the album Ndili ndi Mulungu.
There is a story line that centres on a teenager albino boy who is leaving school premises or is it his home. While walking along a tarmac road a saloon car pulls over and two heavyset mean jumps out and grabs the boy whom they bundle into the boot of the vehicle before speeding off.
They later take him to some gangster looking men while tying his hands. The video shows the bartering of the boy between them after money exchange hands. He is left to his fate that leaves the watchers guessing.
I do not know who this abducted boy is; what arrangement or consent was made to allow for the video production to come out the way it did.
What I find abhorring is the choice of production concept for the music video which is a clear dalliance with the devil and does not manage to leave the bittersweet after effect that it intended.
In steady it is reassuring those that believe in the selling of people with albinism that this is how it is done. Whether these macabre acts lead to financial rewards as the music video encourages or not is not for me to say but it now brings me to question the television stations that would really broadcast such kind of production.
To say the least, this is careless of highest order. The media is crucial in relaying codes that can be decoded differently by the consumers. This is the reason journalists undergo a very strict training on ethical reporting. Musicians are an integral part of media products and what they package ought to also follow strict ethical considerations before getting carried away with excitement in the process of production.
Ever since we started reading, listening and watching stories about the albino killings, there has never been one that followed a conclusive discourse that point out to their fate in the manner in which the music video projects. Yes mutilated bodies have been found but it still does not prove the reasons behind this heinousness brutality.
Music is crucial to carry messages for different intentions, but there is supposed to be decency that has to precede the penchant for recognition and yearning to pamper artists’ pride and self esteem.
There are issues of privacy that are also to be considered. The teenager used in the video should not have been enticed with money to appear the way he did. Even if there was consent, still Eliza’s production team should have brainstormed and guided the youthful devotee properly.
The gospel in the lyrics ended up fighting against the picture thus in the eyes of ethically conscious viewers like me. Granted, that Eliza had all good intentions when she decided to produce the video; but it has left us with far-reaching effect which points to a different negative achievement, eventually.
The albino teenager should not have been exposed and disrespected in the manner the video achieved. Yes, works of arts tend to provoke different reactions, but unpalatable is the word for this particular production, especially in the face on the national plight.