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
Cosby lawyer blasts sex claim
A lawyer for embattled US comic Bill Cosby lashed out at new claims of rape and sexual abuse dating back several decades, saying they have "escalated far past the point of absurdity."...
I call upon one fan to occupy my seat while I am on leave - Luswata
Urban TV’s gossip queen Mary Luswata will be missing in action for two weeks....
David Lutalo: I resisted running after girls
A married man and a father of two, David Lutalo is one of the celebrated musicians in Uganda and in an interview with New Vision, the artiste of the Kapapala fame opens up to his life....
Big Brother twists puzzle housemates
The sight of ex-Big Brother Africa housemates on Sunday brought back by Biggie to compete against the Hotshots somehow sent chills coursing down the their spines, especially Uganda’s Ellah....
Denzel back to Big Brother House
It is a twist that excited Africans soon after the evictions of Malawi’s Mr.265 and South Africa’s Samantha last night in the on-going Big Brother Africa Hotshots reality TV show....
Solange Knowles weds video director
Solange Knowles is known for her fashion as much as her music, and her weekend wedding didn't disappoint....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter