The African pop group which collaborated with Shakira for a magical World Cup 2010 concert has been barred from performing in Zimbabwe after insulting the country's president in a controversial new music video.
The Colombian singer and Freshlyground won over worldwide audiences with their song Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), which became the official anthem for the soccer tournament in the band's native South Africa.
But the members of the pop group found themselves at the centre of political controversy last week (ends10Sep10) after Zimbabwean authorities revoked work permits for a series of planned October (10) concerts in the country, according to singer Zolani Mahola.
Mahola tells The Associated Press no reason was given, but she believes the band's controversial Chicken to Change video, released earlier this month (Sep10), is to blame - because in it they ridicule Zimbabwe's President.
The video features a puppet depicting longtime President Robert Mugabe isolated in a limousine, uncaring of his people's suffering during a time of economic and political crisis. The puppet then transforms into a fearful chicken as Zolani sings for change.
Freshlyground flautist Simon Attwell explains, "We wanted to do something that's funny, as opposed to being directly provocative," adding his bandmates thought "humour is a little easier to digest. But evidently not".
Zimbabwean immigration officials had refused to comment on the work permits for Freshlyground as WENN went to press.