One of the pioneers of the local hip-hop industry, veteran rapper and producer Amukelani “Amu” Tshawane, sharply criticised the local hip-hop fraternity for not showing support to a wounded institution that had practically helped carry the culture administratively in the country, and had even paid frequently for performances.
The institution to which Tshawane was referring was the SA Hip-Hop Museum, housed at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg, which he called the “desecrated temple of hip-hop”.
Local vandals had allegedly botched a break-in to the museum, which ended in flooding and damage estimated at just over R2.5 million.
“My problem is, I’ve been here the whole day, but I don’t see hip-hop rappers. This is the temple. I only saw a few volunteers. I’m here to offer moral support, but I was expecting more of the hip-hop fraternity to be here,” said Tshawane.
“They know what happened – and it isn’t cool at all. We need to pull in, Osmic [Menoe, director of the museum and its holding company] did practically everything here by himself. I’m pained when I think about his efforts. This is a test for the industry and government,” said Tshawane this week.
The museum is run and owned by the Ritual Media Group, the same company behind the annual SA Hip-Hop Awards, the SA Hip-Hop Summit and the SA Hip-Hop Association. It also hosts the internationally recognised annual Back to the City concerts, which are attended by tens of thousands of people every Freedom Day.
On Friday, Menoe said: “A few people have shown some support, but not the famous ones.
“It doesn’t [deter me], because I’m doing this for a way greater cause. I’m not doing it to please anyone,” he said.
“If people give their support on social media, fine. I’m already where I am. It’s not as if anyone gave me any money [for the museum],” he said.
It was a sombre scene when City Press initially visited the soggy museum this past Tuesday, the day after the break-in and flood.
Labourers clad in blue overalls were battling to mop away the remainder of the water and scrambling to save and dry whatever artefacts they could.
That was the same day Tshawane lamented the lack of support from rappers.
Menoe said: “We’re going to need R1.5 million to get back on track. It’s disheartening, but we have to salvage what we can and move forward.”