It’s said any publicity is good publicity and it seems Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes will go to any lengths for media coverage: from failed crowd surfing videos to baby mama drama and telling fellow musician Cassper Nyovest’s that his family can “suck my d**k”.
But now, after his use of the derogatory word ‘moffie’, gay rights activists and fans are saying the multi award-winning rapper-songwriter has gone too far.
In his tweet on Thursday, AKA called Cassper a moffie for not signing a contract for a boxing match that was set to take place in September.
“Nyt nyt. Tag his bitch ass all day … tell him to sign and stop being a moffie,” said AKA on his Twitter feed – and almost immediately bore the full brunt of fans and the LGBTQI+ community.
On Friday, AKA issued an apology to all those he offended.
In a series of tweets, AKA said: “I would like to apologise to anybody offended by my use of the word ‘Moffie’ in a previous tweet. At some point, i thought it wasn’t a big deal to use this word. I understand now that it’s not acceptable.”
Roché Kester, from the hate crimes unit at OUT, a local gay rights and services NGO, said they had immediately condemned AKA’s use of the word.
Speaking to The Citizen, Kester said: “His use of the word is unwarranted and it normalises derogatory and homophobic language among the heterosexual community.”
Kester said this behaviour, especially when displayed by prominent public figures, sent a harmful message to fans and could have far-reaching consequences for the LGBTQI+ population.
“Approximately eight cases of hate crimes have this year alone been reported. And those are just the ones we know of. Many more occur and are not reported because of fear of secondary discrimination when reporting to the police.”
Just this past February, 23-year-old LGBTQI gender activist Lindokuhle Cele was stabbed multiple times in full view of the public at an uMlazi butchery in what his family believes was a hate crime.
Anthony Waldhausen, director of the Gay and Lesbian Network, in a statement shortly after the attack, said there was an increase in hate crimes against gays and lesbians in the country.
“We are very concerned about this. Even though we have a Constitution that protects everyone, we are still having these cases, fights and discrimination. The government needs to try to get to the bottom of this,” he told IOL.
In an advocacy document titled Why Does South Africa Need Hate Crimes Legislation?, the Hate Crimes Working Group says there exists no official recording of hate crimes in South Africa. Government departments have made their own efforts to record crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex persons or crimes they consider motivated by xenophobia.
AKA fans of all sexual orientations are taking to social media to “cancel” the musician from their list. Among them is Ashraf Booley, the president of the Impulse Cape Town office, which advocates for gay rights and other essential services.
“As a gay man living in Cape Town, the derogatory term ‘moffie’ has been used as a weapon against me and so many others like me for as long as I can remember. In the context of the AKA-Cassper Nyovest Twitter tirade, it was uncalled for, undeniably queerphobic, and hurtful to not only his queer fans but our community as a whole,” he told The Citizen.
Despite our attempts to try to reclaim and de-weaponise the term ‘moffie’, queer-phobes such as AKA are constantly using the slur to belittle and dehumanise us. Perhaps it is time we find new ways to talk about being queer in South Africa that aren’t derogatory.”
In closing, Booley added that AKA had been “cancelled”.