Rapper AKA has reacted to the cancellation of the Africans Unite concert following public objections against Nigerian musician Burna Boy’s participation.
Writing on Twitter less than an hour after the announcement on Wednesday, AKA said, “Hayi no. South Ahhh doesn’t play.”
Together with the Tshwane Entertainment Collective, he was among leading local artistes who questioned Burna Boy’s inclusion.
‘Threats of violence’
In a statement, the concert’s organisers, Phambili Media and Play Network Africa, said “threats of violence” prompted them to withdraw Burn Boy and cancel the shows.
They said, “The decision to cancel the Africans Unite Concert comes after the call from the Tshwane Entertainment Collective to boycott the Africans Unite concert in Tshwane.
“With the increasing threats of violence from other unfortunate segments of the public and without any government intervention, Phambili Media and Play Network Africa were prompted to take the threats and warnings seriously, as the safety of all artists and attendees could not be guaranteed.
“We then decided to cancel the concert. The safety of all attendees, artists and crew comes first.” Those who had bought tickets will be fully refunded, they added.
Burna Boy and Africans Unite concert controversy
The Africans Unite concert had been scheduled for 23 November in Cape Town and 24 November in Pretoria. Its aim was to spread a message of unity to help tackle xenophobia.
However, Burna Boy’s controversial tweets in September during the xenophobic unrest in parts of Gauteng sparked public objections to his inclusion. AKA led calls for an apology from him.
On 3 September, Burna Boy 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.”
In another tweet, he seemingly threatened AKA, who had called him out for reacting to fake news and outdated videos doing the rounds on social media at the time.
The Ye hitmaker tweeted, “And @akaworldwide I knew you was retarded but I didn’t know it had gotten this bad. Next time I see you, you better have a big security bro. On Gambos grave you gonna need it [sic].”
Despite the objections, Burna Boy refused to apologise and insisted that he would still come. He also received support from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.
He had not publicly reacted to the cancellation at the time of publishing this article.