Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
16 Aug 2018
5:27 pm

Malema speaks at ProKid’s memorial after saying he ‘didn’t come here to speak’

Citizen Reporter

In a short address, the EFF leader expressed his desire to listen to what SA hip-hop artists are going through.

Julius Malema (right) at ProKid's memorial. Picture: Twitter.

EFF leader Julius Malema attended ProKid’s memorial in Newtown on Thursday, where he delivered a short address.

After sending his condolences to the late Linda Mkhize’s family, Malema said: “I didn’t come here to speak, I came here to listen to you speak, particularly the artists, so that you can conscientise us about what you are going through in the industry, particularly the hip-hop artists.”

Malema’s words appear to have been mostly positively received on social media, but before the address one user said she hoped the leader of the red berets did not use the memorial as “a platform to seek attention,” and another user called the EFF out for sending Malema to ProKid’s memorial rather than the Marikana memorial.

Malema’s assertion during the speech that he did not come to speak struck some as ironic, but he kept it short and mainly expressed a desire to listen to local artists.

“Most of the time we politicians speak, and you can’t speak and listen at the same time,” he said.

“We are coming to learn and see how best we can help to grow the culture and empower our artists.”

He also highlighted the fact that he believes that when people talk of ProKid in the context of Soweto they were diminishing his contribution to the country.

“It is not Soweto he contributed to, because Soweto is a synonym of a ‘black people’s place’. He contributed to the whole of South Africa and to blackness,” he said.

“Black people today are confident because of people like Pro who were never ashamed of who they are or where they come from,” he continued.

“They embraced that, and because they embraced that they said we want to better our conditions through the display of our talent.”

This is not the first time the EFF leader has contributed to SA hip-hop culture.

Earlier in the year the EFF commander-in-chief stepped in to help Motswako rapper Fifi Cooper successfully fight against the interdict placed on her music by her ex-label Ambitiouz Records, Sunday World reported.

The label and the first lady of Motswako suffered a breakdown in their relationship last year.

When the rapper, real name Refilwe Mooketsi, tried to leave the label, it sought an interdict to prevent her from being able to perform any music made while at the label.

The label won its initial legal battle, successfully being granted the interdict, but lost in the court of public opinion after many voiced their opinion that the rapper had been treated unfairly.

The EFF stepped in straight away, tweeting that they would help her legally.

The rapper took them up on the offer, with Malema appointing the EFF’s lawyers to help her pro bono. Mooketsi and Ambitiouz Records have since reached an out of court settlement which sees the rapper free to perform or release any music she likes.

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