South African Concert “Africa Unite” Cancelled, Burna Boy Withdrawn
Following threats of violence, the highly publicised anti-xenophobia concert “Africa Unite” which Burna Boy was billed to headline in South Africa has been cancelled.
The concert organisers Phambili Media and Play Network confirmed Wednesday morning, that after engagement with Burna Boy’s management a decision to withdraw his name from the line-up and as a result cancel the concert, South African media outlet, IOL reports.
Consequently, both legs of the concert that were scheduled for Hillcrest Quarry, Cape Town, on November 23 and Sun Arena, Pretoria, November 24 were cancelled.
“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,” the statement read.
“We do, however, stand behind our decision for the initial inclusion of Burna Boy in the Africans Unite Concert line-up,” the statement from organisers said.
“As one of artists at the centre stage of the xenophobic attacks uproar, we saw fit to engage him to be a part of the Africans Unite campaign that aims to ultimately change the current negative narrative to that of solidarity and unity. It seems we have failed in this regard.
“As organisers of the Africans Unite Concert, we continue to advocate for unity and peace. Moreover, we condemn any form of discrimination, violence or aggressive behaviour towards any person due to their gender or nationality.”
This is coming following protests and petitions against Burna Boy’s inclusion in the concert.
Last week, an petition letter written by musicians and organisers under the umbrella of Tshwane Entertainment Collective, to the minister raising objections against the concert and calling for the department to pull its sponsorship of the event.
The chief concern was against Burna Boy’s inclusion, and the group labelled the event a “financial exercise to benefit the very artists who have our country in a negative light based on false claims”.
The concert also featured Jidenna, Kwesta, Sho Madjozi, DJ Maphorisa, Busiswa and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.