KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
CONTROVERSIAL Afrikaans music legend Steve Hofmeyr, whose political viewpoints have led to festival organisers shunning him in South Africa, has been invited by the Greek Olive of Kitwe for shows next month.
Hofmeyr and The After Party band are expected to have a show at the Hellenic Association of Zambia in Makeni, Lusaka, on July 17 where he will sing a number of American singer-songwriter Neil Diamondâ€™s music and his own hits before moving to Kitwe the next day for another show at the Kitwe Playing Fields.
Tickets for the Lusaka show are pegged at K450 ordinary and K600 VIP, while for Kitwe, the entry fee is K300 for adults and K150 for children between the ages of six and 13.
VIP tickets are K500 for adults and K250 for children.
Early this year, the Innobos National Arts Festival in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, announced that they will not be inviting Hofmeyr, who was regarded by many as the main attraction, because of a string of his controversial political viewpoints on social media.
â€œThe debacle surrounding his politically sensitive comments on social media influenced the decision of the managing committee and board to not invite Steve to perform at Innibos 2015. We must make clear that we have nothing against him as an artiste,â€ Innibos media liaison Sandra Jacobs said in a press statement reported by News24.
His comments on social media were believed to have alienated Afrikaans culture from South Africaâ€™s other cultural groups.
â€œWe cannot allow any artiste to misuse our platforms and stages and conflict with the vision and mission of Innibos. The festival is intended for cultural entertainment and not politicking,â€ Jacobs explained.
Another festival, the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK), an Afrikaans language arts festival in the town of Oudtshoorn and the biggest in South Africa based on visitors, had also decided not to invite Hofmeyr to the 2015 event.
In March, Channel24 also reported that Pick n Pay and Jaguar Land Rover South Africa had decided not to renew their sponsorship of the Afrikaans is Groot concerts following comments by Hofmeyr.
Hofmeyr had caused a storm on social media when he tweeted: â€œSorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of apartheid. Go figure.â€
He again tweeted that: â€œBoycotts wonâ€™t change my observation that Africa never did&still (sic) doesnâ€™t inspire integration #ArchitectsOfApartheid.â€
In April, he said illiteracy was to blame for the defacement of historical statues, particularly that of Paul Kruger.
â€œThe call by the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters] and others to remove this statue is misguided and ill-informed,â€ he told supporters gathered at the foot of Krugerâ€™s statue. â€œI think illiteracy has everything to do with it,â€ he said before ending the address by singing Die Stem, the apartheid national anthem.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka