Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema found himself on the wrong side of social media users and those who claim to have voted for his party after sharing his opinion on Nigerian musician Burna Boy’s scheduled performance next week.
While the artist trended on Thursday due to South Africans and Tshwane artists boycotting his scheduled performance, Malema said no “mascot” would stop him from performing.
He said: “Looking forward to receiving and being entertained by my brother @burnaboy here at his home called South Africa. 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.”
The EFF leader has been highly criticised, even by fighters, who said they regretted voting for EFF.
Twitter user Tshepo Kgampe wrote: “#Malema wants to stay relevant mo Africa at our expense, die man must just go to Nigeria and stay le Burna Boy. The problem we did is thinking we could trust him with our country but now he wants to be the hero for Africa. We’ll protect SA whether they call us xenophobic or not,” while Ken Hlenkosi said: “Friday 15 November 2019! The day I realised the mistake I made thinking the @EFFSouthAfrica would bring about any positive changes to this country, change that is much needed with the level of incompetence the rullying party has portrayed in the last few years.”
Some of the comments:
Responding to the criticism, Malema said he would not be blackmailed by “bed-wetting” boys.
“Welcome home @burnaboy. South Africa is a home for all Africans, kill me for defending an African brother, bloody cowards,” he said.
Burna Boy made headlines on Thursday after the Tshwane Entertainment Collective joined some South Africans in objecting to him performing at the Africans Unite concert set to take place in Pretoria on November 24.
The Tshwane Entertainment Collective raised a few objections to the concert, including allegations that local artists were not receiving funding from government while it was quick to fund events organised by foreign companies. The alleged exclusion of local talents has also been questioned.
“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, PlayNetwork Africa, soliciting funding and support at the drop of a hat. This reminded us of all the productions hosted locally which are either white, foreign or corporate-owned, that repeatedly enjoy an unreserved amount of financial and other support from the South African government through your department and its subsidiaries.”
Burna Boy headlining the event has not been taken kindly by the group either, who questioned why government would include an artist who threatened a local artist with violence.
“Your department is funding an event headlined by an artist who goes by the stage name Burna Boy. Whoever may have deemed that the country needs a PR exercise of this nature would have done so largely as a result of the callous, misleading and unwarranted incitement by this very artist. Not only did he spread falsehoods through his extensive platforms, he literally incited violence and hate. 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.”
Burna Boy angered South Africans on social media a few weeks back after threatening AKA with violence and vowing never to set foot in South Africa following xenophobic attacks.
In response to the attacks, and AKA having complained – months prior – about losing awards and soccer matches to Nigerians all the time, Burna Boy took to social media, in a series of tweets, to condemn the attacks and threatened AKA while at it. He also vowed never to set foot in South Africa.
He said at the time: “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 the fuck up and really performs a miracle because I don’t know how they can even possibly fix this.
“And @MI_Abaga it’s fuck @akaworldwide from now on. And if you down with him, it’s fuck you too. I respect you too much, please don’t throw my respect out the window cuz I swear you will fly out with it.”
He further wrote, in a deleted tweet: “And AKA, I knew you [were] 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 ur gunna need it.”
South Africans have now called on the Nigerian musician to keep his vow of never setting foot in South Africa should he not apologise.