US rapper Jadakiss is at the centre of a storm as he gets ready to give a concert in Swaziland on Saturday (23 April 2011).
Prodemocracy groups have called on a boycott of the concert, organised in the name of King Mswati’s eldest son, Prince Lindani.
Swaziland came to international attention last week (12 April 2011) when police and state troops brutally crushed a protest calling for democratic and economic reforms in the kingdom where King Mswati is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Jadakiss is the main act in a concert that coincides with celebrations for the 43rd birthday of King Mswati. The concert is billed as a charity event, but all participating artists will receive undisclosed fees. None will be asked to pay tax on their earnings.
South African TV’s Bonang Matheba and Channel O’s Lungile ‘Lungsta’ Radu will be the Masters of Ceremony.
According to the Times of Swaziland, http://www.times.co.sz/Entertainment/27843.html other acts due to appear include South African hip hop groups Teargas and Jozi, T-Bo Touch, DJ Tira, local afro jazz artist, Zaza, Velemseni, Lando, deejays Crooks, Izzie and V and Swazi hip hop spinners Stitch and Papz.
The South African-based ANC Youth League has called for a boycott of the concert.
‘We particularly call on all artists invited to Swaziland to boycott the celebration of Mswati’s birthday and his son’s concert, because it is a celebration of the suffering and starvation of the people of Swaziland by the King, his friends and family,’ it said in a statement.
It went on, ‘In Solidarity with people of Swaziland, who are now in an ongoing revolt against the Mswati regime, all South Africans are called upon to stop all businesses and interaction they are doing with the repressive, unethical and inconsiderate Swaziland Royal Family and the puppet government.
‘The ANC Youth League is aware that some of the artists who were supposed to go to Swaziland to entertain the King, his children and family have already withdrawn and we call all those who have not yet withdrawn to do so immediately.
‘Those who insist doing business with the Swaziland royal family should know that after doing business with Mswati, his friends and family at the expense of the poor people of Swaziland, will never be associated with the ANC Youth League and the ANC. There are many people to entertain in South Africa, instead of people who do not appreciate values of democracy, freedom, peace and social justice.’