By Bongani Ndlovu
Yet again, tongues have been wagging because of Netherlands-based songstress Vimbai Zimuto’s artistic expression.
After news that a Kenya-bound Ethiopia Airlines plane from Ethiopia crashed six minutes after take-off in Addis Ababa killing all on board did the rounds on Sunday, Vimbai posted a nude picture of herself mourning the death of 157 passengers who perished in the crash.
She captioned the image: “Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust. May all the people who perished on Ethiopian airlines rest in peace.”
Reacting to her post on social media earlier this week, some who clearly did not understand what Vimbai was trying to achieve, said her gesture was in bad taste as she was seeking unnecessary attention. Others, however, felt she was simply expressing herself artistically.
Undeterred by people’s negative comments, Vimbai defended herself saying nudity is a form of art.
“Don’t worry when people say you’re crazy. You are crazy, you have that intoxicating (in)sanity that let’s people dream outside the line and become who they are destined to be,” responded Vimbai with another nude post.
One of her followers explained her art: “Our people are quick to judge. Art requires a deep imagination. All your photos are not obscene at all. Now that you mentioned losing loved ones, it’s as good as being stripped bare,” to which Vimbai responded: “I’m literally crying right now, at least someone understands what I’m trying to say.”
Her critics shot back saying the timing was way off as the world was mourning a monumental tragedy.
“The objective of that immoral picture was simply attention seeking and you have surely captivated the attention. But please, although l like your music, that was too much insanity, too much stupidity and lack of Ubuntu.
“We don’t mourn people by displaying b****, it resembles lack of morals. It depicts that you can do many dirty things just for attention which is wrong. Anyway, l won’t judge you as we all learn from our imperfections,” commented another.
Another said consoling people while naked was rude.
“A picture is worth a thousand words. Photography is a language, remember one word could mean many things. You’re beautiful but I’m sure your caption along with that picture was inappropriate to those who lost their loved ones. I wouldn’t want to be consoled by a naked person as I’d have found it very disrespectful.”
Veteran footballer, Alois Bunjira, weighed in on the debate saying there is a time and place for everything.
“ART . . . When done at an appropriate time, in the correct profession and industry, with the right caption, it remains a work of art.”
Vimbai has been receiving a major backlash because people are asking themselves where the juxtaposition between her naked arched body with the dead people she was consoling through her art is. What has nudity got to do with the dead? How does one mourn the dead through a naked photo, people are asking themselves.
Whatever her reasons, hidden or expressed are, what is now known is Vimbai who has introduced herself through controversy, has got people’s attention as more and more want to know what she is all about, her music and all. This is not the first time she has stirred controversy as she released a racy music video titled Hapana Kwaunodenda last year that left many gobsmacked.
All this talk about Vimbai seems to be working in her favour as she is making inroads into the local showbiz scene. She has landed a slot at Dereck Mpofu’s album launch at Harare Gardens next Friday where she will perform alongside Pachihera. The Chronicle.