Big Nuz Byo gig in doubt

HARARE - South African (SA) group Big Nuz has hinted that they could cancel a gig set for Bulawayo tomorrow night amid calls for local music fans to boycott the concert in protest over xenophobic attacks raging across the Limpopo.

DJ Tira, the director of Big Nuz’s record label, believes their safety can no longer be guaranteed.

“It looks like we’re going to cancel,” DJ Tira he told South African newspaper, the Sowetan.

According to DJ Tira, the trio’s leading member Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo has a fear of flying and would have to drive to Zimbabwe for the performance and this would expose him to more.

Other Big Nuz members include Sbusiso “R-Mashesha” Khomo and Mzi “Danger” Mkhwanazi.

But Zero One one Entertainment, the promoters of the gig, insists that the show will go on as scheduled.

“Forget what you heard, there’s no stopping this train, it’s going down in Zim, Bulawayo, Big Nuz coming, ain’t no way you can stop the hustle,” the show organisers wrote on the Facebook page.

“It’s going down without fail, everything is in order, come in thousands and let’s fight against Xenophobia together as one not divided. Violence doesn’t solve anything but unity brings peace and progression.”

The Zero One one Entertainment added that targeting South African artists won’t help to halt the xenophobic violence.

“It’s unfortunate that the xenophobic attacks in SA have marred relations between our people. We as the promoters of the SA artists believe in a peaceful but informative awareness campaign that involves our visiting artists being in solidarity with the plight of foreigners being attacked. Our visiting artists are not perpetrators and neither are they in control of what’s happening in SA.”

However, another award-winning South African musician Cassper Nyovest is adamant that he will perform in Bulawayo next weekend despite calls for people to boycott concerts involving Mzansi artists.

A defiant Nyovest said via Twitter that he would fulfil his Bulawayo gig.

“I am going to Zimbabwe next week! I do not care who threatens me. I am going to perform for my people! My African people! My family! Just got a call from my mum and she thinks I shouldn’t go to Zimbabwe for my show next week.

“People are advising me to cancel my show in Bulawayo next week and I’m not budging. I will come to perform for my brothers,” he wrote in a series of tweets.

Local artists are pushing for the boycott of Big Nuz and Cassper Nyovest’s gigs as a way of putting pressure on South Africa to stop the xenophobic attacks.

Music promoter and producer, Hillary ‘Punchline’ Mutake has urged Zimbabwean music fans not to give their money to a country which loathes them.

“Two South African musicians will be performing in Zimbabwe this weekend. To show our solidarity and displeasure at the xenophobic attacks on our brothers and sisters, let us boycott the shows. Fellow Zimbabweans do not go to that show and let those SA artists perform in an empty stadium. Spread the word! Copy, paste and pass! No to Xenophobia,” he wrote on Facebook.

Comedian Q the Boss also endorsed the boycott of the concerts by South African stars on his Facebook page.

“With all these killings in Durban we Zimbabweans will be fools to attend any show from a South African artist whilst their kinsmen are burning our brothers...”

Filmmaker and actor, Obrian Mudyiwenyama wrote, “South Africans are busy killing our brothers and sisters, burning them alive and we are busy promoting their artists here, I am disgusted.”

Maybe in response to the calls for the boycott of his forthcoming gig, Cassper Nyovest has castigated xenophobia on Twitter.

“Xenophobia is some wack s***,” he wrote in one post.

“During apartheid our freedom fighters went into exile right? They were welcomed into various countries and today we have freedom and we kill them?”

“Go down your family history you will find that some of your roots come from outside the country so xenophobia is actually killing your own. A group mentality can be dangerous if the leader is dumb,” the musician said in a series of posts.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Musician Union (Zimu) is planning to compose a song which they hope will help put an end to the escalating xenophobic attacks.

Zimu’s interim president, Edith WeUtonga said as musicians they have a role to play the wanton killings of foreigners in South Africa.

“We need to make a stand as musicians, condemning these attacks on foreigners in South Africa. I know one of my father’s relatives who housed Thabo Mbeki at some point during the Apartheid,” said WeUtonga.

“We plan to engage the South African Embassy in Zimbabwe over these atrocities,” said the Zimu leader.

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