Category Archives: International News

‘Hayi no, SA doesn’t play:’ AKA says after Burna Boy concert is cancelled

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In another tweet, he seemingly threatened AKA, who had called him out for reacting to fake news and outdated videos doing the rounds on social media at the time.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.

EFF asks members to pass proposals for African federal govt, army, 1 currency

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has asked its members to consider passing resolutions calling for an African federal government and army as well as one African currency.

These proposals are contained in the party’s discussion document for its second National People’s Assembly (NPA) set for 13-16 December in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

Thousands of branch delegates are expected to elect EFF’s national leadership and pass resolutions on a range of issues at the Assembly.

‘Pan-Africanism and progressive internationalism’

In a chapter titled “Economic Freedom Fighters, Pan-Africanism and Progressive Internationalism,” the EFF urges its members to “take note of the need for a continental and diaspora-wide Pan-African Movement.”

It adds, “The EFF must resolve that for complete unification of the African continent, there must be one currency for all the countries of the continent.

“The conference must further resolve to have one African language at least, Kiswahili as a recommendation, to be developed fully and be integrated into school curriculums with the aim of making the language a common language of communication in Africa. 

“The EFF must agitate for a united African continent, with one federal government and army, and affirm the higher authority of the Pan-African Parliament as the ultimate legislative body for continental matters.”

‘Elimination of unnecessary borders’

The party has urged the Assembly to call for a “continental and diaspora Pan-African Congress” to discuss these and other proposals to strengthen African unity.

It says it “will also advocate for the ultimate integration of the African continent through the erosion and eventual elimination of unnecessary borders” such as those separating South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

The EFF also vows to promote socialism internationally because “socialism will never work if still confined to nation states.”

It added, “Therefore, the EFF must unashamedly be in solidarity with all revolutionary forces, and support attempts to overthrow imperial regimes and usher in progressive governments.”

When EFF leader Julius Malema was still President of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), he controversially said the ANCYL would establish a “Botswana command team” to unite oppositional forces in Botswana to oppose the “puppet regime” of then President Ian Khama.

Other “internationalist” proposals in the document include expansion of the United Nations Security Council and a “complete withdrawal from the International Criminal Court by all African nations.”

Burna Boy thanks Malema for his support: ‘I look forward to meeting you’

Nigerian musician Burna Boy has thanked Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema for supporting his inclusion in the upcoming Africans Unite concert.

Malema has come under fire on social media for strongly backing Burna Boy against South African music fans demanding an apology from him.

Writing on Twitter on Tuesday, Malema said he was “looking forward to receiving and being entertained by my brother @burnaboy here at his home called South Africa.”

He added, “There’s no mascot that can stop him from performing, he’s one of our own and we will protect him. We must resolutely oppose regionalism led by political illiterates.”

‘I look forward to meeting you’

On Saturday, Burna Boy tweeted his appreciation, “Thank you @Julius_S_Malema. Africa must Unite and I am willing to die for that cause just like you brother. I look forward to meeting you.”

In other tweets, the artiste said he loves South Africa but “loves Africa more.” He was seemingly unprepared to offer the apology many South Africans on social media have demanded.

“Let’s not act like xenophobia is not real in South Africa; let’s not act like Nigerians, Tanzanians, Zimbabweans and many other AFRICANS have not been victims in the last three years. Please Let us all do our part to Unite Africa,” he wrote.

Burna Boy and Africans Unite concert controversy

Burna Boy is set to be among headline acts at the Africans Unite concert scheduled for 23 November in Cape Town and 24 November in Pretoria.

The controversy surrounding his inclusion stems from his controversial tweets in September during the xenophobic unrest in parts of Gauteng.

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.”

In another tweet, he seemingly threatened local rapper 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].”

As a result, some local artistes under the banner of Tshwane Entertainment Collective have objected to his participation in the concert.

AKA has led social media demands for an apology to South Africans from Burna Boy, but given the latter’s latest tweets, it may not be forthcoming.

Julius Malema backs Burna Boy: ‘No mascot can stop him from performing’

Nigerian musician Burna Boy is facing stiff resistance from some local artistes and music fans who have objected to his inclusion in the upcoming Africans Unite concert.

However, he has received support from none other than Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.

Writing on Twitter on Tuesday, Malema said he was “looking forward to receiving and being entertained by my brother @burnaboy here at his home called South Africa.”

‘Regionalism’

He added, “There’s no mascot that can stop him from performing, he’s one of our own and we will protect him. We must resolutely oppose regionalism led by political illiterates.”

Malema and EFF have been vocal in their opposition to xenophobia and their strong support for the abolition of African borders to promote African unity.

Burna Boy is set to be among headline acts at the Africans Unite concert scheduled for 23 November in Cape Town and 24 November in Pretoria.

Its 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.”

Other headline acts are local rapper Kwesta, Nigerian-American rapper Jidenna and singer Busiswa, among others. Minnie Dlamini will be the host.

Tshwane Entertainment Collective objects

Burna Boy’s inclusion has become controversial because of his tweets during September’s xenophobic unrest in parts of Gauteng.

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 “fake news” and outdated videos doing the rounds on social media at the time.

Among those who took offence was local rapper AKA. However, Burna Boy reacted to him by tweeting, “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].”

As a result, a group calling itself Tshwane Entertainment Collective has joined the fray and strongly objected to Burna Boy’s participation in the concert.

In an open letter to Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa earlier this week, they wrote, “Not only did he spread falsehoods through his extensive platforms, he literally incited violence and hate.”

They added, “He further promised to inflict his own violence on locals before giving your government an ultimatum which you seem to have received and succumbed to.”

On Wednesday, AKA said he was open to Burna Boy coming to South Africa, but asked for an apology from him first.

Malema’s entry into the controversy has further split opinion among fans on social media. Burna Boy hasn’t publicly reacted to the debate yet.

Billionaire Richard Branson apologises for SA photo ‘that clearly lacked diversity’

British billionaire Richard Branson has apologised to South Africans for his choice of a photo that he said “clearly lacked diversity.”

In a now-deleted tweet he posted on Monday, Branson said he was in South Africa for the launch of his new Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.

He accompanied the tweet with a photo of himself and eight other individuals who are apparently the Centre’s staff members.

‘Lack of diversity’

Twitter users, both local and from his home country, immediately pointed out the lack of diversity in his team.

Image credit: eNCA

“Mr Branson, you are a good man and a role model to many… Please be sensitive to diversity issues still facing the business [community] in South Africa. I would suggest that you also add racial & gender diversity in measuring your impact. Thank you,” tweeted @lepzaa.

The backlash eventually prompted Branson to delete the tweet and post another one expressing his apologies on Tuesday.

He wrote, “The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is for all South Africans, but yesterday’s choice of a photo to go with my tweet clearly lacked diversity. Apologies.”

He added, “I hope you will take a look at my blog which does far better justice to the amazing work of the Centre and its team.”

‘Supporting entrepreneurs’

According to the its website, the Branson Centre “has been supporting entrepreneurs in the country for many years, and has now been reimagined as a social enterprise supplier-development hub.”

It partners with Virgin Active South Africa and Virgin Atlantic airline, which are both owned by Branson.

The Centre’s Executive Director is Wesley Noble, who also serves in its Board of Trustees alongside Phila Zulu, Nwabisa Mayema and Bess Nkabinde.

Its Board of Directors include Noble, Tsholo Kubheka, Rowan Le Roux, Greg Sara, Ross Faragher-Thomas and Fiona Ross.

Branson is one of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists. He founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984.

According to his blog, there are now “more than 60 Virgin companies worldwide, employing approximately 71,000 people in 35 countries.”

Africans Unite Concert: Arts & Culture slammed for ‘funding foreign-owned company’

The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has been slammed for allegedly funding a foreign-owned company to organise the upcoming Africans Unite Concert.

A group calling itself “Tshwane Entertainment Collective” has written an open letter to Minister Nathi Mthethwa to raise objections against the alleged funding.

It wrote, “As creatives, artists and event organisers who seem to never do enough to warrant receiving funding from your department in particular, we were surprised to see a foreign-owned company, “Play Network Africa,” soliciting funding and support at the drop of a hat without any signs of due process.”

‘Arduous funding processes for local companies’

The concert has been scheduled for 24 November at the Sun Arena in Tshwane, while the Cape Town event will be on 23 November. It seeks to spread messages of unity following the recent xenophobic incidents in parts of Gauteng.

Several entities signed off on the open letter to Mthethwa, including TrapLords, HomeComing Events, and Mams Arts Festival.

They claimed that local companies often endure “arduous processes,” including long waiting periods, while seeking funding from the state.

They asked Mthethwa to clarify “how this particular event managed to receive such tremendous support in such a short period of time.”

Objection to Burna Boy’s participation

Several artistes, including local rapper Kwesta and Nigerian musician Burna Boy, are set to headline the Africans Unite Concert.

The Tshwane Entertainment Collective has however objected to Burna Boy’s participation because of his controversial tweets during the xenophobic unrest in August and September.

They accused him of incitement and spreading falsehoods, adding, “He further promised to inflict his own violence on locals before giving your government an ultimatum which you seem to have received and succumbed to.”

The group further questioned the logic of holding such a concert in an affluent area of Tshwane, noting that people affected by xenophobia don’t usually live there.

“They live in our townships and central business districts and quite frankly cannot afford to splurge R400.00 – R1200.00 on attending a concert that does not seek to address their lived realities in any meaningful way,” they argued.

They called on Mthethwa to cancel his department’s sponsorship of Africans Unite Concert and to respond to their open letter within three working days.

Ramaphosa: Fake news fuelled much of recent xenophobic unrest

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said fake news fuelled much of the recent spate of xenophobia in parts of Gauteng.

Ramaphosa was speaking during an “Invest in Africa’s Space: Conversation with African Heads of State and Government” session at the ongoing Africa Investment Forum on Monday in Johannesburg.

He said, “The problem that often happens with all this is that fake news becomes the order of the day. In our situation, much of what happened was fuelled by fake news.”

‘South Africans are not xenophobic’

He cited pictures of “people jumping out of burning buildings” being circulated on social media as an example, saying the alleged incident happened in another country but was being purported to have happened in South Africa.

Ramaphosa explained that this fuelled reactions in other countries, which necessitated sending out special envoys to give a proper account of the situation.

The President said, “Inherently, South Africans are not xenophobic. The government of South Africa is irrevocably committed against xenophobia. We abhor it.”

He nevertheless acknowledged that while South Africa has welcomed foreign nationals fleeing difficult political and economic conditions in their countries, South Africans often want to “protect their own self-interest” when the local economy worsens.

In August and September, a number of shops, both local and foreign-owned, were looted and damaged during the unrest.

12 people lost their lives, two of them foreign nationals, according to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Hundreds of foreign nationals subsequently decided to return to their countries of origin.

Africa Investment Forum 2019

According to its website, the Africa Investment Forum is “Africa’s investment market place – a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and
accelerating the financial closure of deals.”

The annual event kicked off on Monday in Sandton and will conclude on Wednesday, 13 November. This year’s theme is “Accelerating an Integrated Marketplace.”

In addition to President Ramaphosa, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo are also in attendance.

It comes on the back of the South Africa Investment Conference 2019 held last week, where Ramaphosa raised about R363 billion in investment pledges.

British actress Emma Watson says she’s ‘self-partnered,’ not single

Popular British actress Emma Watson has raised quite a few eyebrows on social media by saying she’s “self-partnered,” not single.

Watson, 29, told British Vogue magazine on Tuesday that she has faced pressure from society to settle down and marry, especially as she soon turns 30.

This influenced her to change her views about being “single.” She said, “I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel. It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”

Anxiety caused by societal expectations

Watson said this is her way of coping with anxiety caused by societal expectations.

“If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby, and you are turning 30, and you’re not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career, or you’re still figuring things out… There’s just this incredible amount of anxiety,” she explained.

She is a women’s rights activist who also serves as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.

Watson’s fame grew immensely after starring as Hermione Granger in the hugely popular Harry Potter film franchise.

Social media reactions

Predictably, Watson’s new phrase for being single has sparked quite some debate on social media.

Some, such as British broadcaster Fifi Haroon, supported her views on Twitter: “TY @EmmaWatson. Many women feel anxious being single and being singled out on it.

“But as you grow older with yourself, you learn to let go of the fear. When you stop depending so much on others, being single expands your life experiences in a wholly different way.”

Feminist writer Rachel Thompson agreed: “I personally love that Emma Watson calls being single “self-partnered.” We really need to overhaul the way we think about singledom and especially how our culture views single women.”

However, others like local Twitter user @TeedeeNK disagreed, “That’s just ridiculous. Rather than rename something, just conclude that there is nothing wrong with it and move on.

“You can’t partner yourself; it defeats the meaning of the word. Just be single and be OK with it. Nothing wrong with it.”

Amid widespread poverty, King Mswati ‘splurges R231m on Rolls-Royces for his wives’

King Mswati III of the Kingdom of eSwatini has reportedly splurged a whopping R231.5 million on 19 Rolls-Royces for his wives and one Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV for himself.

Lucky Lukhele, spokesperson of Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) which campaigns for democratisation in the Kingdom, shared photos of the swanky cars on Twitter on Wednesday.

He accompanied the images with the caption, “20 Rolls Royce have just been delivered at Nkhanini for His Majesty King Mswati and all his wives yes the Queen Mother.”

‘R231.5 million’

In a follow-up post, Lukhele added, “The total price of the purchased of 19 Rolls Royce vehicles by King Mswati and a customised Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV for himself. All worth £12 million (R231.5m).”

SSN also shared a video of the alleged King Mswati’s Rolls-Royces being driven from a compound.

The Citizen reportedly received confirmation from a source in the country’s Ministry of Information and Communication that the vehicles were indeed purchased by the King.

The images and videos have sparked outrage on social media as commenters compared the royal family’s extravagance with eSwatini’s impoverished status.

This isn’t the first time King Mswati has spent eye-popping amounts of money on material acquisitions.

In May 2018, City Press reported that he had spent R2.7 billion buying and refurbishing a private jet as a gift to himself for his 50th birthday – while paying pensioners just R400 a month.

58.9% live below poverty line

According to the World Bank, 58.9% of eSwatini citizens lived below the national poverty line in 2017.

Furthermore, 39.7% of them lived below the international $1.90 poverty line in 2016 and 2017.

King Mswati has reportedly married 15 times. His eighth wife, Senteni Masango, took her own life in 2017, while his 12th wife, Nothando Dube, passed away in March this year at a Johannesburg hospital.

State funds are reportedly used to maintain the large royal family and fund their lavish lifestyle.

AKA: I’d love to watch Burna Boy ‘put his hands on me in my own country’

AKA has seemingly reprised his beef with Nigerian musician Burna Boy after it emerged that the latter is coming to South Africa.

On Wednesday, the Supa Mega reacted on Twitter to news that Burna Boy will headline two “Africans Unite” concerts in Cape Town and Tshwane in November.

He wrote, “I would love to attend this show and watch this man put his hands on me in my own country.”

AKA-Burna Boy fight on xenophobia

The two superstars had a twar in September in the wake of xenophobic unrest in parts of Gauteng.

It all started when Burna Boy vowed never to step in South Africa because of the unrest.

He tweeted, “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.”

However, AKA, like many South Africans, felt that Burna Boy was reacting to fake news and outdated videos circulating on social media at the time.

Burna Boy didn’t take kindly to this and replied, “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].”

‘He must apologise’

A fan replied to AKA’s tweet and urged him to bury the hatchet. The Baddest hitmaker said he’s prepared for that – but Burna Boy must apologise first.

“I wouldn’t mind at all… he must just apologise so we can forgive him,” he wrote.

AKA is sure spoiling for another twar, because he posted a screenshot of Burna Boy’s now-deleted “big security” tweet and wrote, “See you soon @burnaboy.” The Nigerian star hadn’t reacted at the time of publishing.

Africans Unite concerts

The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has partnered with Channel O and Play Network Africa to organise the concerts.

Their 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.”

Other headline acts are local rapper Kwesta and Nigerian-American rapper Jidenna, and singer Busiswa, among others. Minnie Dlamini will be the host.

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.”

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