Times of Swaziland
30 May 2011
SA artists’ boycott on SD intensifies
MBABANE- The two South African artists who pulled out of the Bush Fire Festival have since disclosed the reasons why they snubbed the event.
Caiphus Semenya was reported in the Sunday Sun to have said, "Every country has its own dynamics, but Swazi people should be able to enjoy what we have here in Mzansi. We support the call to boycott the cultural festival. We also support the Swaziland Solidarity Network in their quest to bring democracy."
DJ Black Coffee was quoted to have said, "We can’t be happy when Swazi people are suffering. We support the call to boycott the festival and I am not going."
Following such claims, it seems like the cultural boycott by South African musicians and deejays is intensifying as more of them are now refusing to come and perform in the country. Meanwhile, the latest star to turn down an invite to perform in the country is SAMA award winner and kwaito star Professor.
As reported by the Entertainment Desk last week, the young man of ‘Imotentjontimali’ fame was supposed to perform at the Mavuso Trade Centre during the MTN Mobile Money collaboration with Sprite show this coming Saturday.
Professor is said to have received a memo last week being told not to perform in the country. Information gathered by this newspaper is that the organisers of the event have tried to engage other South African musicians but they all refused.
The issue started in April during the Prince Lindani Foundation Concert which featured US rapper Jadakiss.
The show was not well attended as most of the popular South African stars pulled out bowing to pressure from the ANC Youth League and the Swaziland Solidarity Network. Those who pulled out include Metro FM spinner T-Bo Touch and Afrotain-ment’s popular deejay Tira
Kwaito artist L’Vovo did the same when he turned down an invite to perform at the grand closing of the Premier League of Swaziland.
The Solidarity Network also asked artists who were in the Bush Fire Festival line-up to-do the same and two of them (DJ Black Coffee and legendary guitarist Caiphus Semenya) did just that.
According to the South African Sunday Sun newspaper, the Creative Workers Union of South Africa (CWUSA) will continue to urge artists to pull out of shows in Swaziland.
When drawn for comment, Stanley Dlamini, the CEO of the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture said the board will meet very soon to discuss the issue and find a way forward.
"At first we couldn’t do anything about it because there was nothing official communicated to us but we have seen that it is becoming a trend so we have to work on it. The board will meet with the Foreign Affairs department to find a way forward," Dlamini said.
Suspended Chairman of the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Board Bongani Mamba said, "The boycott by SA artist is a reality that must be addressed and not shunned. Unfortunately it is political and can best be handled by both governments. The effects of the boycott are not only an imagination but are felt. SA is our neighbour and we rely entirely on them for our development. While our local artists will enjoy the stage so far, the truth is, they have not reached the level where we can easily say we are independent. Another thing is that we have a few groups that have reached the professional level," he said.