Ugandan pop star Jemimah Kansiime, a.k.a. by her stage name Panadol wa Basajja or “medicine for men, currently faces up to 10 years in jail for her latest video “Ensolo Yange,” which is deemed pornographic by officials, according to the Guardian.
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In 21-year-old Kansiime’s four-minute video, she is seen soaping her body up as she displays her backside for all to see.
Watch “Ensolo Yange” here:
But the video, which now has nearly 290,000 views on YouTube, reportedly shocked Uganda’s Ethics Minister, Simon Lokodo, who said it was “very obscene and vulgar.”
After the viewing, Lokodo had Kasiime and her then-manager Didi Mugisha arrested for violating the anti-pornography law that was passed by Parliament in February 2014.
Under the law, pornography is seen as being responsible for sexual crimes against women and children, “including rape, child molestation, and incest” and is defined as “any representation, through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent show, information technology or by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or stimulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual excitement.”
And while Mugisha pled guilty to his crime and was fined 200,000 Ugandan shillings ($67), Kansiime pled not guilty and was held for five weeks before she could post bail.
Of her arrest, Kansiime says, “My rights have been trampled upon, my freedom of expression has been trampled upon.”
On why she made the video, Kansiime explained that she was just copying her idols’ (U.S. pop stars Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, pictured) strategies of success.
“I was just experimenting to see if I put on a short dress, will the audience like it?” Kansiime says.
But Kasiime’s case begs a larger question that is being tackled in Ugandan society: are the East African country’s pornography laws limiting freedom of expression — and more importantly — targeting women?
Local media reported that [Ethics Minister Lokodo] also confronted Uganda’s youngest MP when she walked in to parliament in a short skirt.
The law has also become known as the “mini skirt ban” after some Ugandans misinterpreted the ruling and targeted people they considered to be improperly dressed, in some cases stripping women in the street.
Meanwhile, Kansiime is due in court later this month and faces up to 10 years in jail.
On whether she would make another video such as “Ensolo,” Kansiime says, “I have to do something that people like; I have not benefitted from that video.”