Nigerian music star Burna Boy is set to headline “Africans Unite” concerts in Cape Town and Pretoria in November.
He will come to the country despite vowing not to set foot here during a spate of xenophobic unrest in parts of Gauteng in September.
Other headline acts are local rapper Kwesta and Nigerian-American rapper Jidenna, and singer Busiswa, among others. Minnie Dlamini will be the host.
‘I will not ever go to SA’
Burna Boy angered many South Africans on social media when he vowed never to step in South Africa again in the wake of the unrest.
On 3 September, he tweeted, “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.
“And I will NOT EVER go to South Africa again for any reason until the SOUTH AFRICAN government wakes up and really performs a miracle because I don’t know how they can even possibly fix this.”
Local fans felt he was being irresponsible by reacting to outdated videos doing the rounds on social media at the time.
Africans Unite concerts
The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has partnered with Channel O and Play Network Africa to organise the shows.
The concerts’ aim is to help combat xenophobia by “rebuilding trust and respect amongst African nations by changing the current narrative to that of unity and solidarity.”
Africans Unite concert in Cape Town will take place at The Lawns on 23 November, while the Pretoria concert will be held at Tshwane’s Sun Arena on 24 November. Ticket prices start from R250.
Burna Boy has been using the hashtag #AfricaUnite on Twitter over the past several days to urge Africans to unite.
In one tweet, he wrote, “It is sad that some Africans blame their personal frustrations or failures on other Africans. It is wrong on so many levels. We need to find lasting solutions.”
“Every African is a giant and my personal effort towards making a remarkable impact in unifying Africa will be announced shortly.
“Shout out to every African doing their best to make Africa one,” he added in another tweet.