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By Citizen Reporter

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Dept of sports, arts and culture not funding concert headlined by Burna Boy, says Nathi Mthethwa

The department's logo has been erroneously used in the advertisement, adds the minister.


Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has denied reports that his department was funding the Africans Unite concert set to be headlined by Nigerian musician Burna Boy.

Burna Boy will be performing at the concert, set to take place in Cape Town at The Lawns on November 23 and Tshwane’s Sun Arena on November 24.

The concert follows recent xenophobic attacks and reports of gender-based violence and will see Kwesta, Sho Madjozi, and other African acts performing in an attempt to unify Africans and to take a stand against femicide.

“Presented by South Africa’s department of sports, arts and culture, in association with Channel O, Monster Energy and powered by Play Network Africa. Africans Unite Concert is a collaborative project that aims to rebuild trust and respect amongst African nations by hanging the current narrative to that of unity and solidarity,” reads the description in the advertisement.

But Mthethwa says reports of his department funding the event are untrue.

He said in a statement: “The department of sports, arts and culture wishes to dispel the untrue information currently being spread on social media that it is funding the Africans Unite concert featuring the artist known as Burna Boy.

“It is unfortunate that the department’s logo was erroneously used on the poster advertising the event. However, this notwithstanding, the department wishes to reiterate that it has not allocated or granted any funding to the event in question and any reports to the contrary are entirely false.”

However, event organisers Phambili Media and Playnetwork have denied “erroneously” using the department of sports, arts and culture’s logo.

“All communications announcing the Africans Unite concert were done with the inclusion of the department.

“The department of sport, arts and culture is not providing any financial support to Phambili Media or its event partners, Playnetwork Africa to stage the event.With recent xenophobic events that have taken place around South Africa, Phambili Media reached out to the department for an endorsement to stand behind the messaging of the event, which is to encourage all Africans to speak with one voice through music, to drive the goal of uniting our nations,” they said in a statement.

Also read: ‘Bloody cowards!’ Malema says after being dragged over comment on Burna Boy

Music group Tshwane Entertainment Collective found itself falling victim to the false reports and raised a few objections to the concert, including allegations that local artists were not receiving funding from government while it was quick to fund events organised by foreign companies.

“As creatives, artists and event organisers who seem to never do enough to warrant receiving funding from your department, in particular, we were surprised to see a foreign-owned company, PlayNetwork Africa, soliciting funding and support at the drop of a hat. This reminded us of all the productions hosted locally which are either white, foreign or corporate-owned, that repeatedly enjoy an unreserved amount of financial and other support from the South African government through your department and its subsidiaries.”

The group further objected to the Nigerian artist performing at the event.

Burna Boy headlining the event has not been taken kindly by the group either, who questioned why government would include an artist who threatened a local artist with violence.

“Your department is funding an event headlined by an artist who goes by the stage name Burna Boy. Whoever may have deemed that the country needs a PR exercise of this nature would have done so largely as a result of the callous, misleading and unwarranted incitement by this very artist. Not only did he spread falsehoods through his extensive platforms, he literally incited violence and hate. He further promised to inflict his own violence on locals before giving your government an ultimatum which you seem to have received and succumbed to.”

Also read: Artists object to Burna Boy performing in SA as AKA demands apology

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