“I think that Mos Def is expecting special treatment”


The arrest of American rapper Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey) in Cape Town last Thursday has sparked a nationwide discussion about the validity of the “World Passport” he was said to be carrying. The “World Passport”, created by the “World Government of World Citizens” is based on Article 13(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

Only 6 countries in the world recognise it as a valid document; Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Mauritania, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia. The rapper – who still uses his American passport as well – is due in court on 8 March 2016 for violating the Immigration Act. MISHKA WAZAR  asked Joburgers what they thought of the “World Passport”.

Orali HlopheOrali Hlophe, 22, sound engineer/singer
I think Mos Def is absolutely amazing, I’ve been a fan of his since Brown Sugar. He’s extremely woke, so for him to think so little of South Africa is disappointing. A World Passport is too complicated; I don’t know if it’s feasible. The mere fact that he came into SA with his USA passport and tried to leave with a World Passport is so disrespectful, he thinks he’s above the law. He can’t just disregard our regulations.

Mmabatho MoganeMmathabo Mogane, 25, student
I never knew about World Passports until today but I don’t know if it’s realistic. There are regulations for all individuals so it doesn’t seem fair because it allows for loopholes and privileges. I think that Mos Def is expecting special treatment and using his celebrity status to mistreat our country. We’re just as strict as Europe, it’s not “anything goes” here.

Ross RanbyRoss Ranby, 28, musician
I think that World Passports would be more practical, but they’re not safe. I don’t know why Mos Def thinks he can come and go as he pleases; if you don’t have the documents you’re supposed to have then you have to go. I’m actually impressed that we picked up on this.


Rochelle CoetzeeRochelle Coetzee, 18, retail worker
I didn’t know that World Passports were a thing. They’re not safe because you can’t just trust everyone. There are rules and regulations you must respect in life. It could even encourage drug-mules. Mos Def is being so shallow; this is just corruption.

Voxes have been edited for brevity and clarity
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons 


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