us HIP-HOP STAR just loves our SA GIRLS

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

There was drama at visiting hip-hop star Wyclef Jean's media conference at MTN head office in Johannesburg yesterday, with the event resembling a mini-concert.

Jean arrived at 10am wearing a pair of blue jeans, white silky shirt, gold-lined shoes and dark sun glasses, completing a perfect picture of the hip-hop superstar that he is.

The mere sight of him drove the mainly female fans into a spontaneous frenzy.

But the former Fugees anchorman, who is visiting the country as a guest of MTN, which has appointed him a global human rights ambassador, left his South African fans in awe because of his humility and the casual way he conducts himself.

His demeanour was in sharp contrast with that of most visiting superstars - particularly American musicians.

The event started off with an impromptu performance by the star. His fans, mostly MTN staff and media people, happily sang along.

Halfway through the conference, he stopped the proceedings to go to the bathroom to take off his jeans - which he exchanged for a pair from a fan.

"I have always wanted to come to South Africa," Jean said. "I will perform at a small venue this time but in a stadium full of people next time I visit.

Several times during the briefing Jean praised local women for their beauty.

"I have travelled around the world and I have never seen such beautiful women as in South Africa," said the US-based Haiti-born artist.

He also spoke fondly about a local artist that he once collaborated with. "Lucky Dube, whom I had the privilege to perform with before he died, was an interesting person," he said.

"He was someone I looked up to with the same respect I have for Bob Marley and Peter Tosh."

Jean spoke against women abuse and said men who beat up women and brutalised them belonged behind bars.

lJean will perform at the Bassline, Newtown, tonight.