Reactions have begun to trail the inclusion of award-winning Afrobeats singer, Burna Boy, in the ‘Africa Unite’ concert scheduled to hold in South Africa later this month.
The award-winning artiste is billed to perform alongside Jidenna, Kwesta and Busiwa, amongst others and has pledged to donate part of proceedings from the forthcoming concert to victims of Xenophobic attacks.
Agitations about his inclusion in the concert is however not unconnected to comments he made on Twitter at the height of the tensions last September. Burna Boy had, in a tweet, lashed out at the South African government and had urged victims of the attack to retaliate, a tweet which had since been deleted.
A group of South African musicians and event organisers under the auspices of the Tshwane Entertainment Collective have written to the Minister of Sports, Art & Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, raising objections against the concert and imploring the ministry to pull its sponsorship of the event.
The group’s main reason was Burna Boy’s inclusion in an anti-xenophobic attack, claiming that his comments are inciting hatred on 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,” the letter said of Burna Boy, suggesting that government had succumbed to pressure from him”.
In the same vein, South African rapper, AKA, with whom Burna Boy had traded words over the violence targeted at Nigerians and other Africans living in South Africa, has also demanded an apology from the Afrobeats singer, stating that he should act as the “African Giant” he claims and apologise for his comments.
“Ek se … @burnaboy all we want is an apology. We know 🇿🇦(South Africa) is not perfect. But we took you in as our own before you reached these levels. You say you are an AFRICAN GIANT, prove it,” AKA tweeted.
In another development, South African opposition politician, Julius Malema, has assured, Burna Boy, of his safety during the African Unite Concert scheduled to hold on November 24 in the country.
Malema, who is a legislator, via his twitter handle, said that he was looking forward to being entertained by the singer and that there was “no mascot” who can stop him from performing in the country.
The founder of Economic Freedom Fighters tweeted, “Looking forward to receiving and being entertained by my brother @burnaboy here at his home called South Africa. There’s no mascot that can stop him from performing, he’s one of our own and we will protect him. We must resolutely oppose regionalism led by political illiterates.”