A major sponsor has pulled out of the Kwaito and House Music Awards following a public backlash after Brickz (real name Sipho Ndlovu) performed at the awards’ launch event on Friday night.
South Africans took to social media to condemn the event organisers, objecting to the fact that Brickz, a convicted rapist, was being given a platform to perform.
The organisers defended their decision to book Brickz for the show, saying the kwaito star still owed them money from a previous gig. Brickz, for his part, told TimesLIVE he found the outrage aimed at his performance surprising.
“I was taken out of prison to allow me to cover my legal costs, so there is no reason for people to think it is wrong for me to perform. Performing and making music is what I do, so I will be performing tonight,” Brickz was quoted as saying.
Neither Brickz’s nor the organisers’ comments have mollified TransAfrican Radio, which has now withdrawn as a sponsor for the awards.
In a series of tweets, station co-founder Busi Ntuli Adebule announced that with Brickz staying on the bill, TransAfrican Radio was ending its relationship as a partner.
Unfortunately the organizers have through their PR practitioner informed us that Bricks stays. We have subsequently informed them that @TransAfrica872 can no longer be their partner. https://t.co/q6UrFSufff
— Busi Ntuli – Adebule (@Busikathandi) August 3, 2018
“Unfortunately the organisers have through their PR practitioner informed us that Bricks stays. We have subsequently informed them that @TransAfrica872 can no longer be their partner,” Ntuli tweeted.
“It was a no-brainer. The creative industry has since the beginning of time played an influential role in society. It our duty to be on the right side of influence. I still love Kwaito and House Music,” she wrote.
Brickz was convicted last year of allegedly raping a teenage relative at his home in Honeydew, Johannesburg. He is currently out on R80 000, and is appealing his 15-year jail sentence.