Following the violent xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal, some Zimbabweans have told South African hip-hop star Cassper Nyovest that he is not welcome in Zimbabwe. Nyovest is set to perform in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on 25 April, but someÂ say that because South Africans donâ€™t want Zimbabweans in South Africa, Zimbabweans donâ€™t want Nyovest in Zimbabwe. RAâ€™EESA PATHER explains.
Nyovest, the man behind hip hop hits Gusheshe and Doc Shebeleza,Â has been advised to cancel his performance in Bulawayo after being threatened by Zimbabweans on social media. A Facebook post by Zimbabwean musician, Augustus Baba Zaine Verunga, helped spur the furore after he called on Zimbabweans to boycott Nyovestâ€™s show.
â€œThis show will not happen, and if it does it will not end well. We’ll send a message to every SA citizen watching, partaking and promoting XENOPHOBIA,â€ Verurunga wrote on Facebook.
Nyovestâ€™s mother saw the Facebook post, and called the rapper, asking him to cancel his performance.
Just got a call from my mom and she thinks I shouldn’t go to Zimbabwe for my show next week after reading this. pic.twitter.com/ZoHdVBtXTS
â€” Cassper Nyovest (@CassperNyovest) April 15, 2015
Instead, Nyovest denounced the xenophobic attacks that have erupted in KwaZulu-Natal and reaffirmed his commitment to perform in Zimbabwe. â€œI do not support xenophobia,â€ Nyovest wrote on Facebook. â€œWe are one AFRICA therefore we will dance together. I will come perform for my brothers.â€ Zimbabweans on social media havenâ€™t backed down, however, saying that Nyovestâ€™s remarks are insensitive. â€œSo you want Zimbabweans to be dancing while their brothers and sisters are being killed? Donâ€™t you think that will be insensitive? Cancel that show,â€ a commenter wrote on Nyovestâ€™s wall. The xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal have frequently and violently targeted Zimbabweans, among other nationalities, with looters forcing them to flee from their homes and businesses. â€œThe people from South Africa chased me out. We came here to work and not to steal or do some wrong thing,â€ a Zimbabwean now living in a refugee camp told EWN. While some have denounced the calls to boycott Nyovestâ€™s show as further fuelling xenophobic tensions, City Press lifestyle editorÂ Gugulethu Mlungu pointed out that boycotting is a political act, and people have the right to protest.
A boycott (efficacy aside) is a political statement, and frankly people should & can organize however they want. So the boycott must happen. â€” Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) April 16, 2015
Meanwhile, someÂ Zimbabweans have posted threatening comments on Nyovestâ€™s Facebook page. One Facebook user wrote: â€œCasper show your face in ZIM and suffer the wrath of all Zimbabweans. i will definately [sic] stone you to death.â€
On Thursday VurungaÂ posted on Facebook that his initial call to boycott â€œwas not meant to incite violence anywhereâ€ and that he wishes Nyovest â€œthe very best on his show in BYOâ€. Â The musician has since been posting online messages he has received from South Africans who have condemned their xenophobic compatriots.