By Leonard Ncube/Bongani Ndlovu
Artistes from all over Africa have been irked by the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa, with some cancelling their performances in the neighbouring country in solidarity with those who have been affected.
South Africans have been embarking an orgy of violence, looting shops owned by foreigners, beating and killing some in the process.
Nigerian singers such as Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy are among those who have boycotted their gigs in the neighbouring country with some locals calling on the cancellation of shows involving South African artistes in Zimbabwe.
Reacting to the brutal attacks, Tiwa Savage posted: “I refuse to watch the barbaric butchering of my people in South Africa. 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.”
South African house DJ Prince Kaybee, however, bashed Tiwa saying: “Her making this statement made her part of the problem. . . We could say it’s an emotional statement but she’s got absolutely no idea how much fuel has been poured in the fire with this.”
South Africans; Mafikizolo, Dr Malinga and Mlindo the Vocalist were billed to perform in Zimbabwe this week. Mlindo has already chickened out as he said he fears for his life.
“I’m supposed to travel to Zimbabwe this weekend but I fear for my life since I’m South African. My country is doing so much harm to our brothers and sisters and I’ve no choice but to wonder what lies in another African country as an African,” wrote Mlindo on his Instagram page on Tuesday.
Mafikizolo’s concert in Harare tomorrow has also been postponed because of the xenophobic attacks.
Said Mafikizolo: “The show we were supposed to perform at the HICC in Zimbabwe this coming Friday has been cancelled because of what is happening in our country – the violence, crime and killings happening to our brothers and sisters.
“As Mafikizolo, we’d like to let people know that we condemn killings of innocent people from the African continent that have been taking place. We urge our government to take strong and harsh steps to punish the perpetrators responsible for these horrific crimes.”
However, Dr Malinga, who is expected to perform at Skyz Metro FM’s Umcimbi Wabantu celebrations in Bulawayo, has been assured of his safety in the city by event organisers.
“Dr Malinga is safe and can come to Zimbabwe for his performance at the Umcimbi Wabantu as Bulawayo citizens are peace-loving people who are not xenophobic. Our listeners are calling in saying all they want is to have a great time,” said the radio station’s manager Godwin Phiri yesterday.
Meanwhile, South African queen of Gqom music, Babes Wodumo, who had been caught up in a xenophobia storm after inflammatory comments were allegedly posted on her Twitter account on Tuesday evening, yesterday said she was not responsible for those posts as the account had been hacked.
A series of anti-African messages were posted on her @BABESWODUMO_ account targeting foreigners especially Zimbabweans, Nigerians and whites who she said should go back to their respective countries.
One of the messages to Zimbabweans read: “I’m not done Zimbabweans!!! Hambani”. It immediately torched a storm among a cross section of locals who immediately called on organisers of the Victoria Falls Mapopoma Festival (where she is billed to perform in December) to remove her from the line-up.
Through another micro blogging site, Instagram, Babes Wodumo distanced herself from the posts.
“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 that I am 100 percent against xenophobia.
“I’m coming to Zimbabwe . . . the person who is writing all of these things is not me, I love you guys,” she wrote on her Instagram.
Mapopoma Festival organiser DJ Spevah also defended Babes and said she is still part of the Mapopoma festival.
“We’ve spoken to her and she has distanced herself from the tweets as her account was hacked,” DJ Spevah said.
Most South African artistes however, have been embarrassed by the behaviour of their countrymen and have been urging Africans to unite. Zimbabwean comedy crew, Omkhula, who are based in South Africa, also took to the streets there to urge people to desist from violent behaviour.
Five people have been killed and close to 200 arrested in the latest wave of xenophobic violence in South Africa. The Chronicle