Some of Nigeria’s biggest artists are taking a stand against a recent spate of xenophobic attacks in South Africa by condemning the violence and, in some cases, boycotting the country by refusing to perform there.
At least seven people have been killed in recent anti-African immigrant violence, including two yet-to-be-identified bodies that were found burned inside of shops that had been looted.
The Nigerian government called the attacks unacceptable and vowed to take “definitive measures” in order to protect its citizens.
But Nigerians also started looting South African–owned businesses in Nigeria yesterday, forcing companies like Shoprite and MTN to temporarily shut down.
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.....— Burna Boy (@burnaboy) September 3, 2019
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.— Burna Boy (@burnaboy) September 3, 2019
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.— Tiwa Savage (@TiwaSavage) September 4, 2019
These #xenophobicattacks and assaults on women in 🇿🇦 aren’t new. They‘re a direct symptom of apartheid & they‘ll only end once the attackers realize that women & Nigerians are not the enemy. Neo-colonialists made u feel castrated & worthless; tribalism & patriarchy are their guns— Jidenna (@Jidenna) September 4, 2019
In a post on Twitter, Wizkid, one of Africa’s most popular musicians, urged South Africans to see other Africans as one, adding that are fighting the wrong war.
I condemn the violence that has been spreading around a number of our provinces in the strongest terms. I’m convening the ministers in the security cluster today to make sure that we keep a close eye on these acts of wanton violence and find ways of stopping them. pic.twitter.com/sizZkwIyPO— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 3, 2019
Following the end of apartheid in 1994, South African businesses sought for professionals to immigrate and a large number of Nigerians did so. It is estimated that there were 24,000 Nigerians living in South Africa in 2011.