HARARE – Music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi says the xenophobic violence raging in South Africa is travesty on a continent that united to rid itself of the yoke of colonialism.
Tuku, who is currently touring North America, hit out at the xenophobic scourge in a statement he released at the weekend.
“African turns on African as we forget the long journey we have travelled together against similar injustice and persecution from others who sought to subjugate us perpetually,” said the legendary musician.
“Over the last few days I have watched with horror on the news as xenophobic violence broke out in South Africa.”
The internationally acclaimed music star also bemoaned the timing of the violence that has claimed the lives of at least six people against a backdrop widespread destruction of property.
“It is unthinkable that in this day and age, when Africa stands on the cusp of the long awaited realisation of its greatness, that we can do this sort of thing to one another,” he said.
“My heart and prayers go out to the people who have been affected, whatever country they are from.
“The borders we see today were drawn for us by others. I am urging all South Africans to stand up and say no to the hate of other Africans, no to violence and no to murder.”
The Todii singer believes the xenophobic violence demands a concerted response from African leaders.
“In the same breath, I am calling the leaders of Africa to speak out strongly against this madness.
“We have always stood together as Africa, from the pre-independence days of our nations when we supported freedom fighters in their cause to more recently when we came together to fight Ebola,” he said.
“Xenophobia is a scourge that we must get rid of once and for all.
“It must not be given a chance to manifest ever again.
“In this light, it is not enough to just condemn it, we need to map out a long-term plan as a continent to make sure that what we are seeing in South Africa today, never happens again — anywhere in Africa.”
Tuku’s statement on the xenophobia in South Africa follows a recent call by local musicians for Zimbabwean music fans to boycott a concert featuring award-winning South African group Big Nuz which was scheduled to take place in Bulawayo on Independence Eve and another gig featuring hip-hop star Cassper Nyovest set to take place in Zimbabwe’s second largest city next weekend. Daily News