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SA feels the heat as African musos boycott events in country

Burna Boy poses for a portrait during the BET Awards 2019 at Microsoft Theater on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Burna Boy poses for a portrait during the BET Awards 2019 at Microsoft Theater on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Image: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

The SA music scene has been jolted by an overwhelming cultural boycott as a result of the xenophobic attacks in SA.

Two upcoming events – Afropunk Joburg and DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival – are feeling the heat the most.

Nigerian Afro-fusion singer Burna Boy is scheduled to headline the third Afropunk Joburg at Constitution Hill on December 30 and 31 alongside American musician Solange, Miguel and Masego.

But his Twitter rant on Tuesday night has many fans wondering if he will pitch.

“I personally have had my own xenophobic experiences at the hands of South Africans and because of that I have not set foot in SA since 2017,” Burna Boy tweeted.

“And I will NOT EVER go to South Africa again for any reason until the SOUTH AFRICAN government wakes the f**k up and really performs A miracle because I don’t know how they can even possibly fix this.”

Afropunk Joburg told Sowetan LIVE that they are yet to speak to Burna Boy on the matter.

“We have not yet spoken with Burna Boy's management. Once we have we will be able to share a statement responsibly. We live to connect the Africans that were forced to leave and the Africans at home. We plead with the South African government to deliver on their commitment to their people,” Afropunk Joburg co-founder Matthew Morgan said. 

Nigerian songbird Tiwa Savage has also pulled out of Delicious just two weeks before she was set to take to the stage in Midrand with headliners Corinne Bailey Rae and Raphael Saadiq.

Nigerians have taken to the streets of Lagos on September 3 2019 after the violence against foreign nationals in SA. Protesters targeted SA franchises such as Shoprite but failed to gain access as the military was deployed. This comes after deaths of foreign nationals in Johannesburg. SA companies such as MTN and MultiChoice have expressed their concern over the brewing tensions.

“I refuse to watch the barbaric butchering of my people in SA. This is SICK. For this reason I will NOT be performing at the upcoming DSTV Delicious Festival in Johannesburg on the 21st of September. My prayers are with all the victims and families affected by this,” Tiwa said in a statement on Twitter.

DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival said they were aware of Tiwa Savage’s tweet, and were in discussions with her management.

"As a Festival, we have always been an inclusive event with our gates open to everybody, irrespective of where they come from. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination and will continue to ensure that the festival is a safe and inclusive place for all."

After upsetting many social media users with seemingly xenophobic tweets that resurfaced from a month ago, local rapper AKA has clarified this in a lengthy statement.

The Baddest hitmaker pointed out that when Bafana Bafana exited the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after being defeated by Nigeria, he had tweeted his disappointing reaction like any other ‘normal” soccer fan.

“I am unsure how innocent tweets over football have been taken so greatly out of context. I am saddened by the notion that I, Kiernan Jarred Forbes, dislike or hate Nigeria/Nigerians,” AKA said.

“I do not. These words never came from me. I am disheartened that anyone would believe I have negative feelings towards Nigeria and her citizens, as nothing could be further from the truth.

“At NO point do I say anything negative about Nigeria. If anything I’m saying the opposite - Nigeria is good at so many things, they’re winning!”

Gqom queen Babes Wodumo has distanced herself from xenophobic messages posted on her Twitter account. She said she was hacked and urged South Africa to stop xenophobia.

“As you all know my Twitter is hacked and what's sickening is the fact that this person is busy fighting our African brothers and sisters on my Twitter. I want to assure everyone I'm 100% against xenophobia,” she shared on Instagram.