SA celebs take part in the global #BlackoutTuesday in honour of George Floyd

Zozibini Tunzi. (Photo: Getty Images)
Zozibini Tunzi. (Photo: Getty Images)

Following the report of George Floyd's death at the hands of a now former police officer, worldwide protests have been happening to fight against police brutality and racial injustice.

Today has been dubbed Blackout Tuesday, a day for the music industry to disconnect from work, pause normal business operations and stand in solidarity with Floyd’s family and other black people who’ve recently lost their lives. 

The initiative was created by music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, with many celebs, including Quincy Jones and Mick Jagger, using the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused on social media as show of support.

“It’s a day to take a beat for an honest, reflective and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the black community,” read the message written by the music execs on their organisation’s official site.

Locally, former beauty pageant titleholder and businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo; actress and producer Connie Ferguson; Miss South Africa 2015 Liesl Laurie; actor Thapelo Mokoena; and media personalities Nomzamo Mbatha and Bonang Matheba were among the many South African celebrities who joined the movement.

Standing in support of Blackout Tuesday, local electro-swing band GoodLuck informed their followers not to expect the release of any content today from their platforms.

“Today we stand in solidarity with the global music industry in support of Blackout Tuesday,” they wrote on their page.

“We will not be posting any music or content today . . . It's a small action but if enough of us do it, we could have a very big impact. Racism has got to come to an end.”

On Sunday, Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi weighed in on the ongoing issue in an Instagram post.

“’I am livid!’ Rihanna once said. ‘Tell your friends to pull up.’ This is that time! This time you don't get to sit this one out,” Zozi wrote.

“You don't get to turn a blind eye. As a human being, it should also be your obligation to fight against racism and for another human's life.

“As uncomfortable as it may be, we need to root this thing [out] from the bottom up. Your silence is painful.

“Remember the words of [Holocaust survivor] Elie Wiesel: ‘Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.’

“To not choose sides is to actually choose a side. I need you to say something. The time is always right to do what is right. So, pull up!”