She was chauffeured straight to a hotel where she spent the night before being deported back home the next morning.
Zambia is known for being a conservative country with a constitution that states it is a Christian nation.
Zodwa told the Daily News on Sunday that although she was not treated badly, she felt uncomfortable that she had to hand over her cellphone and her travelling documents, which were only returned when she was boarding a plane back home.
“I could not communicate with anyone for the night until I landed. They probably did not want me to take pictures of the hotel, of myself or anything surrounding me while I was in Zambia,” she said.
She said a Zambian-based promoter had booked her several months ago to perform at Zambian reggae artist Karasa Karayo’s album launch on Saturday night at Hollywood City in Lusaka. Her fee of R40 000 was already paid, and it had been advertised in local media that Zodwa was the guest star for the event.
It was apparently rumoured that Zambia would ban Zodwa from entering the country. However, Karayo told a local newspaper before Zodwa’s arrival that they had done all the clearances with Zambia’s National Arts Council.
A letter from the council read: “Based on the preview of some of her shows in other countries, the show will be contrary to public interest and will undermine our national values.”
Zodwa said the gig, which was supposed to have taken place on March 2, had been postponed previously because of misunderstandings over her clearance.
She said on Saturday morning she was told that due to Zambia’s religious and moral beliefs, she would not be allowed to perform in the country.
“There and then I was taken to the airport. I was not detained as rumoured. I stayed at a hotel for the night. The organisers were good to me. They even offered to make it up to me when they come to South Africa.”
She said she was able to keep her performance fee.
She had planned to use the day to sightsee before her performance as she had done when she performed in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
She said she was invited to perform in Zimbabwe on two occasions, but was banned from performing the second time.
“I still love my fans in Zambia. I would not have gone there if I knew there would be such problems. If authorities there feel that what I do goes against their country’s values, then I respect that. It’s a pity that I did not get a chance to meet my fans, but I hope I will return one day,” said Zodwa.