A Fisheries graduate from Mzuzu University, Mwiza Chavura, has caused stir on the social media with his hip-hop song titled “Rape”. The stir is not of applause or admiration, but an uproar of rage incited by his lyrics which inform that he intends to rape someone.
Artists choose to write shockingly upsetting lyrics for varied reasons some of which include: to stand out as unique as they seek attention and fame; to express extreme emotions; or to provoke a visceral response from listeners. From a suspicion point of view, Chavura’s motive was to cultivate attention and possibly fame.
The furry and repudiation from the public is reasonably justifiable on an account that rape is such a serious criminal sex offence in the books. This is why countries around the world punish it with undoubted venom. Survivors of rape and any sexual violence can remain with psychological, emotional and physical effects which aren’t always easy to deal with.
Depression is one of the deepest scars that remain on the victim of this act. In most instances, women are the victims of rape due to their natural weakness. If there is any feminist out there who is ready to attack me for asserting that women are naturally weak, that feminist needs to be re-married with reality.
The depression, which is usually persistent thoughts of sadness and hopelessness, can affect the victim’s behaviour and her relationship with other people. Flashbacks, which are memories of the experienced trauma, also forms another battle to be fought by the rape victim. With flashbacks, the victim feels like the experience of the sexual violence is happening all over again. Imagine such ugly battles within the naturally weak woman.
Sometimes, to tame these traumatic flashbacks and stress, an otherwise good woman would be turned into a drunkard or substance abuser. When the woman happens to contract sexually transmitted disease(s) during the act, her reactions become worse. Her good self erodes and a monster or a sorrowful victim emerges in her place. It is from this angle that the offence of rape is not taken lightly in most societies.
Undoubtedly so, the raging reaction by the majority of Malawians on social media against the song by Chavura and against himself as a singer is pinned to this bundle of facts associated with rape.
Truly speaking, the lyrics in the said song, which I was forced to listen to after its wave, are undoubtedly disgusting. However, the claim that they are also criminal in nature leaves me hopping that I am an idiot who doesn’t understand what constitutes criminality. The disgusting part is billed to the fact that it is packed with stinking vulgarity that chills the spine of every man with upright moral fibre.
In the song, Chavura tells unidentified lady, who has been giving him cold shoulder, that he will simply rape her. He fully describes the violence that will accompany his act, saying he will seal her mouth with seal tape and cause her cry for help. Indeed, the hearing of these lyrics activates the urge to just punch Chavura in the throat to force some discipline in his words.
Granted the indiscipline and folly in the lyrics, its effect ends at provoking moral anger but not criminal impact. Quarters are claiming that the song is intended to incite men to rape women. I must admit, I am surprised. In any case, he is apparently singing what “he wishes to do”. This forms an intention with an existing motive.
Given that a criminal equation comprises the intention plus the actual prohibited act being overtly done, it is clear that in Chavura’s case the criminal equation is not complete hence any calls to charge him with a criminal offence need serious reviews. His lyrically announced intent cannot even form an inchoate offence of conspiracy because of technical inadequacies since the law puts it that no single man can conspire with himself.
Thus the best we can do is to cry socially. It is indisputable fact that he has gotten the attention. The question remains: will he get the much – needed long-term yield of fame?