Comedian Rute has issued an apology to the Muslim community for her viral social media clip.
In the clip, South Africa-based Rute, real name Rute Chimkoka claimed to have sighted the moon and depicted to have seen it in her private parts as she mimicked opening her legs.
But in an interview Rute said: "My video was done without thinking of the undertones of religion. It was meant to lift up the mood of celebration and was purely done in the sense of comedy and not with any target of disrespecting any religion. That is the last thing I would want, to offend any religion.
"So, definitely, people have looked beyond the comedy in it as to put it in a religious context, and not the contest of comedy as I thought. So, to be honest, the clip has received a response it has because I definitely did not have the religious eye as I made it, the only eye I had was that of comedy.
Rute told Kulinji she has received threats and said it’s understandable but appealed to her Muslim friends to forgive.
"I did not think through much as I was making the comedy. I apologise wholly and would want all Muslims to understand that it was not meant to disrespect them in any way. I feel and understand their upset. I hope they will have in them a forgiving spirit, an understanding spirit and a spirit of embracing a sister who has discovered her wrong doing and apologized sincerely."
She disclosed she has not officially been contacted by any association but has spoken to members of associations and explained her side.
"They understand that I did not mean to offend Islam, they understand that I did that in the spirit of comedy, and they have accepted my apology. They had told me, as a sister and a fellow Malawian, that I should be careful because as a public figure, what I say goes a long way."
When asked on her next move, Rute said: "I think this is a great lesson for me. It is a lesson on how impactful our dealings with the public could be. It is a lesson on how to handle subjects of our comedies. It is a lesson that before release of content, I must put myself not just in my shoes, but in the shoes of the recipients as well."