Rapped for 'packaged ladies'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Kwaito artists, particularly popular KwaZulu-Natal star L'Vovo Derango, have been criticised by gospel singer Hlengiwe Mhlaba for sending out demeaning messages about women.

In an interview before performing in Mthunzini on the north coast at the weekend, Mhlaba said she had yet to hear "a single kwaito song that offered women powerful affirmations".

"I am concerned women don't listen to the messages in the songs and just dance to them. I never heard a single kwaito song encouraging women to be presidents, but only about women being packaged for men.

"They don't say nice things about women," Mhlaba said.

Women are portrayed as sex objects, she said.

Mhlaba said the chorus in Derango's hit song, Bayang 'sukela was merely about women. The chorus loosely translates as: "Every weekend, friends and I meet at a drinking place, where we package ladies and take them home".

A Sowetan reader who attended Mhlaba's performance said Mhlaba felt very strongly about the issue.

"She was so emotional about it. She was very annoyed and I thought something had happened between her and Derango," he said.

In response, a visibly shocked Derango, 27, whose real name is Thokozani Ndlovu, said: "I can't comment about that because I was not there when the statement was made, but I know my music does not degrade women," he said.

Derango's producer, Zakes Madida said none of their songs were anti-women.

"We sing about partying.

"We can't sing badly about women because we are also born of women," Madida said.