King of Kwaito gets ‘kwaad’

2010-05-09 05:40

Kwaito musician and businessman Arthur Mafokate has accused a group

of artists from the North West of promoting a “dangerously divisive attitude in

the country”.

Mafokate was responding to accusations that he had benefited from

the exclusion of local (North West) artists from Freedom Day celebrations in the

province. This, while Mafokate was one of the artists who complained about the

exclusion of local (South African) artists from a 2010 Fifa World Cup


The King of Kwaito and Chomee are named in a letter of grievances

presented by North West Artists in Action (a group made up of individual

performing artist) during a protest march to the offices of the provincial

department of sports, arts and culture in Mafikeng on 26 April.

In the letter, North West Artists in Action

singled out Mafokate and Chomee as “the main beneficiaries… of an alleged R100

000 from our provincial coffers” – the money spent to organise the 2010 Freedom

Day celebration in Ganyesa. The group complained that artists

from the province were being marginalised in favour of artists from other


Mafokate said that the protesting group “must not bring back bantustan

ideologies” and said artists billed at the Freedom Day

celebrations are “all South Africans and should not be divided according to


When asked whether he was not applying double standards as he was

part of a group of South African artists who complained about being left out of

the Fifa World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert line-up, Mafokate argued that he

“didn’t say (they should) remove international artists – but asked to add more

local artists”.

He warned against classifying artists according to their provinces

of birth. “Imagine what would happen if Gauteng would adopt that attitude. It

means everyone from outside won’t work” he said.

North West Artists in Action is planning further protest marches to

demonstrate against what they call “the deteriorating arts industry in the North

West province since the dawn of our beloved democracy”. Their next meeting is

expected to take place today.


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