'Demand apologies from your real enemy' - Burna Boy stands firm on xenophobia comments

Rapper AKA takes SA government to task

18 November 2019 - 08:47 By Kyle Zeeman
Burna Boy says he has been discriminated against in SA.
Burna Boy says he has been discriminated against in SA.
Image: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Nigerian muso Burna Boy has responded to calls for him to apologise for comments he made about xenophobia being very real in SA.

In a series of tweets in September, Burna Boy urged black foreigners living in SA to defend and protect themselves against xenophobic attacks. In a now deleted tweet, he also told rapper AKA to beef up his security, before giving him the middle finger. 

He promised to never set foot in SA again until the government “wakes the f*ck up and  really performs a miracle”. However, a month later, he was announced as part of the Africans Unite line-up to “unify all Africans and speak out against femicide”. It is being held this weekend at the Sun Arena in Pretoria.

While hundreds have called for the show to be cancelled and the artist boycotted until he apologises for his remarks, EFF leader Julius Malema defended the star.

After days of silence on the matter, Burna Boy took to Twitter at the weekend to thank Julius for his support and make it clear he was coming, despite the backlash.

He said xenophobia was real in SA and that being South African did not make you more important than any other African.

He rubbished claims that he had misled people about the xenophobic attacks and refused to apologise.

“Saying I mislead people? And I made up the Xenophobic attacks and I should apologise. Really? Lol. In 2015, even I was a victim of the misguided hate, so I know. Go and demand apologies from your real enemies. I am not your enemy. I will not be called 'foreigner'. I am African.”

His comments sparked a fresh outcry on social media.

Burna Boy's former bestie, AKA, last week called on the muso to apologise, but said it was time to drop the matter and “move on”

AKA blamed the department of arts, culture and sport for funding the concert and suggested the government had failed its people.

The department previously distanced itself from the concert, telling TshisaLIVE that it's logo had been used “erroneously” on posters advertising the event.

The department's spokesperson, Asanda Magaqa, said: “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.”

Minister of arts, culture and sport Nathi Mthethwa responded to AKA's comments on Twitter, confirming the statement.