So, Burna Boy has said he will perform at Africans Unite, a concert presented by the South African Tourism Departments and slated to happen on November 23rd and 24th.
It seemingly contradicts the African Giant’s public declaration to boycott South Africa, while speaking out on the September xenophobic attacks, which affected many Nigerians in South Africa. But it would make sense if one factored in the anti-xenophobic intent of the event, with Burna Boy promising to donate proceeds from the show to victims of the xenophobic violence.
The attacks claimed the lives of 11 people, minus other numerous casualties and sparked up vicious protests here in Nigeria. The protests targeted at South African-owned businesses, was widely condemned by Nigerians in Nigeria, with celebrities promising to boycott South African events, while calling for immediate actions to curb the incidents.
In the midst of these comments were virtual brawls; some minor, others not quite so, some between everyday people. There was a notable crossfire between AKA Worldwide and Burna Boy. AKA after sharing his dissatisfaction with Burna Boy’s show when it was announced in October, requested for an apology.
Yes, an apology!
Why one would ask, is an apology important? Even when an event has been set up to address and possibly tender already harsh grounds between Nigerians and South Africans? It is genuinely mind-boggling to think that South Africans and a celebrity especially, is more concerned about an apology (for indiscernible reasons to be honest), than the lives that have been lost and those that might still fall prey. And what good way to start this reconciliation process, than by connecting people through music?
This request for an apology by AKA has long since incensed other South Africans to join the train of apology. while dividing the Internet: there are those who find an apology unnecessary and those who’d rather not have Burna go through with the show so as to stick to his words.
Nonetheless, there is something to be said though about if the people calling for an apology actually understand what this event stands for and what it could mean going forward, in the conversation around xenophobia.
Now, whether Burna Boy decides to tender an apology to South Africans for rightfully calling them out, the fact remains that an apology would only serve egotistic purposes and would most likely not bring about the kind of change than simple tact would. Say an event looking to not only connect, but to assist victims who have to bear the brunt of a vicious yet baseless rivalry. The clamour for an apology also makes it hard to believe that South Africans actually care about repairing the extremely thin line between them and Nigeria and actively moving on from these disastrous developments.