Entertainment
US musician under fire for singing to Swazi king
Publish Date: Apr 30, 2014
US musician under fire for singing to Swazi king
The hip-hop and soul singer has been condemned as a hypocrite for singing "Happy Birthday" to Swazilands King Mswati III. CREDIT/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

MBABANE - US singer Erykah Badu has been condemned as a hypocrite for singing "Happy Birthday" to Swaziland's King Mswati III, described by a rights group as a "corrupt tyrant".

The hip-hop and soul singer performed for the king at his official 46th birthday celebrations during a visit to the southern African country last Thursday, leaving the US-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) fuming.

"She owes us all an explanation. The king is a kleptocrat who lives in the lap of obscene luxury while most of his countrymen toil in abject poverty for less than $2 a day," HRF's Alex Gladstein said in a statement.

American jeweller Jacob Arabo brought the Grammy award-winner to Swaziland as a birthday gift for Mswati, considered Africa's last "absolute monarch", according to state-run Observer newspaper.

"This is my second time in Swaziland and the last time I was here there were a lot of women dancing in a forest," the newspaper quoted her as saying before dedicating her first song to "sons of kings".

She gave Mswati a $100-bill as a birthday present, as well as "a special stone which she said would uplift His Majesty's spirits when he was feeling down," according to the newspaper.

Two years ago, Mswati celebrated his birthday by ordering his subjects to give him cows.

Badu's support of the king goes in the face of her self-professed concern for human rights, according to HRF.

"She claims to want to improve the lives of the disenfranchised and impoverished, but unapologetically does favours for a corrupt tyrant who jails those who challenge his ill-gotten wealth and power," said Gladstein.

Two journalists are on trial in Swaziland for writing articles critical of Mswati's government.

Africa's last absolute monarch holds a tight grip on dissent in his tiny mountain kingdom, where criticism of the king is illegal.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Radio calls Jay-Z local and himself international at AFRIMA conference
Shortly after spitting vitriol directed at promoter Balaam during the Gudlyf concert, Radio alias Moses Ssekibogo of the Gudlyf Radio-Weasel duo fired at Ugandan musicians for being ignorant and having pointless greed during the All Africa Music Awards conference at Hotel Afric...
Mirinda takes over Miss Uganda 2015
The search for Miss Uganda 2015 was launched on Friday evening at Kampala Serena Hotel with Crown Beverages Limited under its Mirinda brand seemingly taking over the pageant as the main sponsors from last year's Namunkekera Rural Industrial Centre (NRIC), an agricultural institute....
Rated Next Jinja auditions: 16 get nod for nationals
Hundreds might have showed up for the Coca-Cola Rated Next: Sing It auditions in Jinja, but only 16 made it to the national level....
The leading films in the Cannes Film Festival race
Of the 19 films competing for the Cannes Film Festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or, half a dozen stand out as the favourites to win....
Coca-Cola Rated Next: Jinja auditions are on
The Coca-Cola rated next sing audtions are on in the Eastern town of Jinja. Matter of fact, the registration is still going on as the number of hopefuls keeps going up....
Orchestra Chungu group thrill revelers at Goethe-Zentrum
A group of music teachers under the name Orchestra Chungu put up the first of their two day performances at Goethe-Zentrum offices, Kamwokya on Thursday night....
Should politicians be banned from addressing religious gatherings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter