SKELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
SOME locals who include veteran musician Brian Shakarongo are concerned that controversial Afrikaner musician Steve Hofmeyr is being allowed to perform in Zambia, when in his home country, South Africa, he is being shunned because of his divisive political views.
Hofmeyr has been invited by the Greek Olive of Kitwe for shows next month at Hellenic Association of Zambia in Makeni, Lusaka and at Kitwe Playing Fields.
Hofmeyr caused a storm on social media when he tweeted that: â€œSorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of apartheid. Go figure.â€
A number of festivals in South Africa have been shunning him because of his views.
The Innobos National Arts Festival in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, announced early this year that it will not be inviting Hofmeyr because of his string of controversial political viewpoints on social media.
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 the number of visitors it attracts, also decided not to invite Hofmeyr to this yearâ€™s event.
Pick n Pay and Jaguar Land Rover South Africa also decided not to renew their sponsorship of the Afrikaans is Groot concerts following comments by Hofmeyr, who was hitherto associated with the festival.
But Hofmeyr was nonapologetic and tweeted that: â€œBoycotts wonâ€™t change my observation that Africa never did&still (sic) doesnâ€™t inspire integration #ArchitectsOfApartheid.â€
However, seasoned musician Shakarongo, who organises the One Love reggae concert, says such musicians with racial overtones as Hofmeyr should not be allowed to perform in Zambia.
â€œI am not sure if the National Arts Council (NAC) is aware of this guyâ€™s tour and if they are, they should not have given clearance for him to perform in this country. The organisation which has brought this guy should have been denied the promotersâ€™ licence,â€ he says.
Shakarongo said it is because of cases like this that he is totally against anyone obtaining a promotersâ€™ licence from NAC without engaging a local promoter.
â€œThat is the only way we can bring sanity to the music industry in this country, and it is one way of encouraging and supporting local promoters to partner with organisations, companies or institutions who want to bring musicians for performances as a way of creating employment for local promoters,â€ he said.
After Otema Musuka had uploaded a link on Facebook which confirmed that Pick n Pay and Jaguar Rand Rover South Africa had pulled their concert sponsorship after Hofmeyrâ€™s racist tweet, many people posted comments, wondering why he is being allowed to perform in Zambia.
â€œWhy are they bringing him to our country to perform? I am sure the only reason why this hasnâ€™t gotten the negative publicity it deserves is because I donâ€™t think most Zambians are fans of his,â€ John Tembo commented.
SKELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka