South African rapper, AKA has also demanded an apology from Burna Boy. The apology is related to Burna Boy’s announcement that he will perform in South Africa later this month with the proceeds going to the victims of xenophobia. When he announced it via his Twitter account on November 9, 2019, he ended the tweet with, “#Africanunite, it’s bigger than all of us.”
This was at loggerheads with what he tweeted in the thick of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa a few months ago. On the evening of September 3, 2019, Burna Boy sent out a series of tweets in which he called out rapper, AKA and Nigerian rapper, MI for supporting AKA. He also fired shots at South Africa.
He tweeted, “Ok. I have been away from social media personally until today. Ordinarily, at a time like this, I should come here and say something to try and calm the situation because my Dream has always been to Unite AFRICA and make us realise that Together we will Literally rule the world…
“But Today After watching the Killing of my people in South Africa the same way we have all watched it happen a few times in the past. FUCK ALL THAT! I personally have had my own xenophobic experiences at the hands of South Africans and because of that…..
“I have not set foot in SA since 2017. And I will NOT EVER go to South Africa again for any reason until the SOUTH AFRICAN government wakes the fuck up and really performs A miracle because I don’t know how they can even possibly fix this.”
When the issue became public knowledge, a lot of Nigerians, acting emotionally hailed Burna Boy for his huff and puff. It was a sad day for logic and sound reasoning. It was also a day that saw Nigerians lose their livelihoods to loot by other Nigerians who hid under the guise of ‘jungle justice’ to loot Shoprite locations.
First, Burna Boy had positioned himself as a pan-Africanist prior to the moment. In one hazy Twitter rant, he outed himself as a fake advocate for pan-Africanism. He also hurt his own brand by threatening violence against another person.
At the time, he tweeted, “And @akaworldwide I knew you was retarded but I didn’t know it had gotten this bad. Next time I see you you better have a big security bro, On Gambos Grave ur gunna need it.” To come back two months later with a message of ‘Africa Unite’ feels like laughable damage control.
When the event unfolded, this writer penned an opinion piece on how Burna Boy made matters worse. But here we are with Burna Boy trying to rework his way back into the conversation, while South Africans resist. Granted, a lot of those rejecting Burna Boy might be xenophobic, but they deserve to demand an apology from Burna Boy.
Burna Boy went too far on that day and he deserves to be dragged by South African Twitter. If he wants to get back in their country, they have a right to demand an apology. Whether Burna Boy should tender it depends on Burna Boy.
South Africans do not owe Burna Boy a duty to overlook his misdemeanor. However, for those South Africans who are demanding an apology because they think their kin did no harm by hurting foreigners, they should get their apology from the toilet basin.
Should Burna Boy have accepted the offer to perform?
No. If you want to cause a storm, keep the same energy. We need African to truly unite. We don’t need hotheads leading the charge. We need calm heads to go forth and make things happen. If you will be an African giant, you must be willing to accept the responsibility that comes with it. For now, Burna Boy is not qualified for that role.
He was posturing by accepting that role. There are positions that are not about second chances. Burna Boy’s actions were too visibly divisive for a second chance.