Following the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and their properties in South Africa, celebrities have boycotted events in the former Apartheid country.
One of Nigeria’s biggest artistes, Tiwa Savage who was billed to perform at this year’s DSTV delicious Festival in Johannesburg, from September 21 to 22, has said she will not be attending the event.
Savage said via her Instagram account, ‘’I refuse to watch the barbaric butchering of my people in SA. This is SICK. For this reason, I will NOT be performing at the upcoming DSTV delicious Festival in Johannesburg on the 21st of September. My prayers are with all the victims and families affected by this.”
A South African fan replied to her post, saying, ‘‘No one has butchered your people but it’s fine. Thanks for taking a stand.”
In return the ‘All Over’ crooner, replied, “Killing any one that is African are my people whether they are Nigerian or not.”
In the same light, ace comedian, Basketmouth, joined the protest by cancelling his appearance at the Comic Choice Awards in South Africa to hold today.
On his Instagram post, he said, “I am not sure how and when we got here. I won’t be attending the Comic Choice Awards this weekend in S.A as scheduled. It might sound like a whisper but together our voices and the right actions will hopefully make a true difference. And real change can begin. But for today, we stand.”
A former ‘Big Brother Naija’ participant, Ifu Ennada, has also spoken against the attacks and called out the Nigerian government, via Instagram.
The 2018 housemate of the reality tv show, said, “Shame on South Africa. Shame on our government. Shame on everyone who enables xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. Shame on us all.”
She has also implored the organizers of ‘Big Brother Naija Double Wahala’ to go on a 24-hour break in support of Nigerians who are protesting these attacks.
Ennada said, “I wish there was something I could do other than just write…my mind has experienced a turmoil thinking of the best line of action I could take, but this is all I can do right now and dare suggest that #bbnaija goes on a 24hrs break [sic] to show support to our people getting attacked in South Africa.
Veteran filmmaker, Fidelis Duker has also towed the line of hios colleagues in the entertainment industry. Duker who is the brain behind the Abuja International Film festival (AIFF), on his Facebook wall, said all South African entries for the 16th edition of the Festival have been rejected.
He also said, “I hereby CANCEL my co-production arrangement with my South African partners.”
Nigerian Afro-fusion singer and songwriter, Burna Boy, has also lent his voice in solidarity to the protest.
The artiste revealed that he had been attacked in 2017 and had decided not to visit South Africa until “the government resolves the situation and unites Africa.”
Calling on Nigerians in South Africa to protect and defend themselves, he said, “to my brothers and sisters I am not encouraging any violence or anything but please protect and defend yourselves at all times. It may not seem like it, but there’s always a way.
“This goes against everything I stand for, but at what point do we take action? I understand that years of oppression has confused South Africans to the point where they see the people who came to their defense during their oppression as their enemies and then worship their oppressors.
“These attacks have brought nothing but chaos and disaccord among the citizens of the two countries. Hopefully, something is done soon to avoid more bloodshed and disunity.”
These latest attacks, one of others which have occurred this year, began last weekend according to a report by ‘News24,’ a South African online news publication. It happened after taxi operators again took to the streets to flush out “drug dealers” in the Pretoria CBD on Tuesday.
According to the report, the taxi drivers said, “they were not there to protest, but to clean up ‘the mess’ that law enforcement had created by not policing the streets.”
One of the drivers told ‘News24’ that, they had a specific problem with some foreign nationals who they claimed were selling drugs to young people. He said the police had either been complicit in the drug trade, or just didn’t care to battle it upfront.
“We are here 24/7, we see the police taking bribes from the drug dealers,” he said.
This led to unrest, with “foreign-owned shops were looted and burned by mobs on a mission to rid the city of the alleged drug dealers,” the report said.