An editorial by SpiceUKOnline's Joel Ryan
Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of the artists I refer to in this post. If anyone from the Beyhive is reading, don’t @ me. I have seen Beyoncé 5 times and will see her again in July, I got receipts.
Love all these American and even British artists using African influences in hair, clothes, music and more. It is so inspiring and makes me so proud to be black, so proud to be African and it really is changing the game. But when was the last time they went?
And no, I don’t mean when was the last time they gave money or the last time they went to Uganda to take pictures. I mean when was the last time they went to perform and really showcase their talent which Africa has so heavily influenced? Celebrities and artists who go on “world” tours only seem to go to western countries even when their musical production, choreography, lyrics and costume are heavily influenced by African countries. I’m really sorry guys but I’m afraid a date in South Africa doesn’t count- amazing as that is, it is the equivalent of saying ‘I ain’t racist, my best friend’s step-sister’s cousin is black’.
South Africa is an amazing country with so much history, influence and importance but there are 53 other countries in Africa. Going to one isn’t good enough and to be honest, it’s been a while since anyone big has even toured there.
I can’t get my head around it. I can imagine artists sitting there in a board meeting discussing dates and places and I don’t get how a whole continent can get missed out. A WHOLE CONTINENT. If you like your cornrow (Kim K Boxer-Braids), African print, afros and your negro nose, there are plenty of them in Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Angola, Tunisia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and many other countries.
If it’s music venues you are worried about, don’t worry I got you. If churches can have whole day outdoor crusades with other 30,000 people, you can grace the stage to twerk for an hour and a bit, we have the resources.
If it’s safety you are worried about; don’t worry we got you. Africans don’t play, If you are of any kind of importance, the president is meeting you at the airport and you will be escorted anywhere with a ten car convoy, don’t get it twisted, you will legit feel like royalty for the time you are there.
I recall when my very normal uncle went to Congo from London with a few leaders from a normal church. To their surprise the president had sent the armed forces to meet them at the airport and escort them wherever they wanted to go for the rest of their stay. The president even apologized for not being able to meet them himself!
If it’s because of political reasons, then don’t tour anywhere; especially the U.S. where its no longer stupid to suggest Donald Trump will be the next president.
But don’t worry guys, not everyone is doing this. I’ve done my research and there are some people not just performing in Africa but really immersing themselves in the culture and these are not even artists that fly the ‘I Love Africa Flag’. I salute you and truly respect you, It’s crazy how the images below make me so happy. I just wish bigger artists would do the same.
Here is a look at Solange Knowles' video for Losing You, shot on location in Cape Town, South Africa.