Sho Madjozi believes the now-cancelled Africans Unite concert was nothing but a marketing ploy.
This comes after major backlash about Nigerian artist Burna Boy being included as one of the headline acts. Burna Boy made controversial comments about SA in the wake of xenophobic attacks a few months ago. At the time, the rapper pledged to never set foot in SA again.
On Twitter, Sho said: “It was so clear that the issue of xenophobia in SA was being used more as a marketing ploy by the organisers of the ‘Africa Unite’ concert than as a way to effect real change.
“That was my worry when I declined to perform. Just from the headline act they chose, it was clear that they wanted a controversial figure more than someone, eg Wizkid, who was engaged in the issue in a constructive way.”
The John Cena hitmaker said she believed the organisers’ failure to take a stand on the hostility surrounding the concert was disheartening.
“That was further proof that xenophobia was just a way for them to make money. Which is disheartening for those of us who genuinely believe in a united Africa.
“Let me just say that xenophobic attitudes are too widespread in SA and it is a problem. However, it is also a problem to say people were murdered when they were not. Truth does matter.”
Sho said Burna Boy was wrong for threatening to attack AKA in the name of ending xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
“It is also a problem and super ironic to threaten to physically attack someone (AKA) in the name of *ending* violence.
“To then have an artist who has done both of the above booked without taking any of that back shows the organisers were not at all engaged with the actual issue at hand.”
In a statement on Wednesday, the organisers said that after extensive engagement with Burna Boy’s management team, they had decided to withdraw the Nigerian artist from the concert and cancel it.
They said the decision to cancel the show came after warnings of a shutdown from a group of artists and event organisers under the umbrella of Tshwane Entertainment Collective.
“We do, however, stand behind our decision for the initial inclusion of Burna Boy in the Africans Unite Concert line-up. As one of [the] artists at the centre stage of the xenophobic attacks uproar, we saw fit to engage him to be a part of the Africans Unite campaign that aims to ultimately change the current negative narrative to that of solidarity and unity. It seems we have failed in this regard.”
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