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Tanzanian musician Aslay is not dead

A YouTube video posted on Facebook shows a series of photos of crowds of people at a burial ceremony.

The video’s Kiswahili title reads: “Mazishi ya Aslay… Maelfu washiriki”, which translates as “Aslay’s burial … thousands attend”. It was uploaded on 12 August 2020.

A voiceover in Kiswahili reports that the burial is of Tanzanian musician Aslay. The narrator says the burial was attended by thousands, including Aslay’s producers and fellow artists from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s major city. 

Another YouTube video claims that the musician died in a road accident on 3 August.

Has Aslay really died?

Photos four years old

Using a video verification tool, Africa Check extracted images from the video and ran them through a TinEye reverse image search.

Some of the photos are more than four years old, used in a story published on 8 June 2016 and another published on 16 August 2016. 

Aslay’s social media activity

While Aslay’s Facebook activity paused on 4 April 2020, his Instagram account tells a different story. The musician’s most recent Instagram post was made 9 September 2020, when he sent a birthday message to Francis Ciza (Majizzo), a celebrity radio manager in Tanzania.

And in an earlier post from 26 August, Aslay dismissed the rumours of his death.

He shared a screenshot of the videos overlaid with Kiswahili text that reads: “KIFO CHA ASLAY” – “The death of Aslay”.

He wrote: “Inasikitisha na kushangaza sana unawezaje kumzushia mwanadamu mwenzako kifo na mabaya mengi. Wanaofanya hivi ni Watanzania wa kawaida kama sisi ambao tulitamani watupe habari na burudani na wao wapate riziki, lakini wako bize kutupotosha na hata kuharibu majina yetu.”

This translates as: “I am saddened and shocked by how someone would wish a fellow human being death and many other terrible things. Those doing this are the common Tanzanians who should be giving us news and entertainment to earn a living but they are busy misleading and ruining our reputations.”

The Instagram post made news online.

Tanzania’s Habari Leo newspaper reported that the musician had asked the country’s communications regulator to crack down on the people spreading the false reports of his death. – Grace Gichuhi


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