There might just be a problem with Burna Boy’s attendance at the Africans Unite Concert scheduled to hold in South Africa on 23 and 24 November. The group known as Tshwane Collective has on Tuesday registered their displeasure with Burna Boy’s participation in the 2-day concert. Tshwane Collective, a group formed by some South African musicians, sent a petition to South Africa’s Minister of Arts and Culture, protesting the inclusion of Burna Boy in two concerts to be held on the 23rd and 24th of November respectively.
Read also: Burna Boy confirms show in South Africa
“Whoever may have deemed that the country needs a PR exercise of this nature would have done so largely as a result of the callous, misleading and unwarranted incitement by this very artist. Not only did he spread falsehoods through his extensive platform, he literally incited violence and hate. He further promised to inflict his own violence on locals before giving your government an ultimatum which you seem to have received and succumbed to”.
Recall that Burna Boy had in September, taken to his Twitter account to urge black foreigners in South Africa to protect and defend themselves against the incessant xenophobic attacks going on in the country at that time. In an obvious heat of anger, Burna Boy also criticized and threatened to beat up South African rapper AKA for the later’s xenophobic comments against black foreigners. The African giant wrapped it up with a firm promise to never visit South Africa until the government woke up to put an end to the frequent xenophobic attacks.
Ironically, Burna Boy had already pledged to donate part of the proceeds he would make from the concert to the victims of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. This, the Afrobeat singer disclosed via a tweet that says:
“The first of many! Part of the proceeds will be donated to the victims of Xenophobic attacks by me! I really hope we can all keep contributing in our own way to make the world a better and safer place for each other. # Africansunite, it’s bigger than all of us”
The South African government should not continue to treat these frequent xenophobic attacks and its tendencies, such as the one currently exhibited by Tshwane Collective with kids glove. Actions like this can easily degenerate to uncontrollable violence hence the need to be nipped in the bud. Things like this portray South Africa as the hub of remorseless emotions. Burna Boy may have gone overboard with words but we all know the circumstances that necessitated such outburst. Africans were murdered by their fellow Africans in cold blood. Their only offence was being black and living in a country that was not theirs! Burna Boy’s countrymen were among the worst hit. No one could have reasonably expected him to keep quiet, especially, as a core Afrocentric musician of International acclaim he is.
As one of the top African Economies, South Africa undoubtedly occupies a top position in Africa. She should always act in ways that are befitting of such a position. Enough of the government’s tolerance to the issues of hate and discrimination in the country.
The Africans Unite Concerts is a response to the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa. The Concert is organised by Nigeria’s Play Network Africain in partnership with Phambili Media, South Africa and the Department of Arts and Culture. Burna Boy, Kwesta and Jidenna are expected to grace the occasion with their performances. The Concert will hold at Hillcrest Quarry in Cape Town and Sun ArenaTime Square in Pretoria on 23 and 24 November respectively.
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