As #ZimbabweanLivesMatter continues to catch steam on social media, South Africa’s hip-hop star AKA has said his country’s public figures will speak for local personalities constrained from doing so.
This follows mounting pressure from the general public on local celebrities for them to show solidarity through speaking out against ‘corruption and human rights abuses characteristic of the ZANU PF-led government.’
Speaking in a recent tweet, the Jika hitmaker expressed that they will do whatever they can to speak out on behalf of Zimbabwean figures who may have good reasons to be scared from doing so.
“We will do what we can as public figures and friends who can speak freely in our country for those who are scared to do so in their own, with good reason,” wrote the South African rapper.
Locally, musicians’ involvement in political issues has often proved fatal. Following threats from fans to mute his music, award-winning crooner, Jah Prayzah was forced to rebrand from his military trademark due to its high resemblance of President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government.
After dropping Jecha, a song perceived to show his alignment to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimdancehall chanter, Winky D was attacked at a Kwekwe show in 2018 by alleged ZANU PF supporters.
#ZimbabweanLivesMatter has wrecked regional attention with South African public figures the most vocal.
Former leader of South Africa’s opposition party Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane has also spoken out condemning corruption and the arrest of popular journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.
“Sanctions are not ideal and that is an important debate to have, but when I look at the recent events- sanctions did not steal Coronavirus funds, sanctions did not arrest journalists and sanctions did not suppress peaceful protestors,” he said.
South African rapper, Casper Nyovest and Economic Freedom Fighters’ Mbuyiseni Ndlozi have also shown solidarity.