Tanzanian actress Wema Sepetu was on Thursday morning (November 1) arraigned at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate court on allegations of publicly sharing sexually-explicit pictures and videos contrary to law.
The film star takes plea Thursday ahead of the hearing of her case.
In January 2018, Tanzania – through its arts regulation board –, banned public sharing of sexually-suggestive content by its citizens.
Last week, Wema Sepetu posted to her Instagram page sexually-provocative visual content, including a video and pictures.
The video showed Ms Sepetu kissing and caressing her new lover in bed. Ms Sepetu’s boyfriend, whom she referred to as “my future husband” in captions of the visual content, is said to be Burundian.
Pictures of the clotheless pair were also shared by the film star on her Instagram page, triggering a barrage of negative feedback from her followers.
Wema Sepetu deleted the pictures thereafter.
As a result of the salacious content, Tanzania’s film board, via its leadership, on October 26, banned Wema Sepetu from acting over an undisclosed period.
“You have disgraced the nation by making viewers imitate your behaviours, habits and culture, which are inappropriate. You have gone against the country’s national values and brought shame to it,” said a film board representative in a press conference in Dar es Salaam last Friday.
“The film board, as mandated by law, has decided to take the following action against Ms Wema Sepetu: to lock her out of the acting and arts industry for an unknown period of time until the day the film board will be satisfied that she has corrected her behaviour. The film board will closely monitor her,” said the film board rep.
The film board decision came a day after the actress had apologised for posting the controversial content.
“Many people engage in intimacy, but it becomes improper when recordings of such private sessions are made available to the public. It doesn’t paint a good picture at all, and I know it is an act that brings shame to the people involved in it. What I did was beyond embarrassing. It should be highly condemned, and I was completely wrong in engaging in it. I am sorry to those who were offended by the stupid thing that I did,” said Wema Sepetu during an October 25 press conference in Dar es Salaam.