AKA is not wrong for calling out Beyonce’s borderline appropriation

Article first appeared on Zalebs saying, It’s funny how AKA is on the receiving end of verbal abuse from Tweeps who are behaving the same way his fans behave.

Like AKA, I have been on the receiving end of abuse from Bey Hive stans across the world for pointing out a simple fact…

This past weekend, images from Beyonce’s African theme push party/baby shower emerged on Twitter and later on Instagram with many lauding the singer for “embracing her roots” but the whole thing felt disingenuous due to the fact that Queen B always has world tours that never have any African dates. In fact, she has barely performed in Africa.

I pointed this out and was subsequently attacked by salty Americans and a few confused Africans and now rapper, AKA, is facing the same fate for stating the same thing.

In fact, many have opted for reminding AKA that he is not black by South African standards and shouldn’t say anything. Despite the fact that, that is problematic in and of itself, calling AKA coloured doesn’t magically turn what he said into a lie.

This same approach actually reminds me of one woman who said the real reason I was unhappy about Beyonce’s appropriation is because she is a light skinned woman with money.

So because I live in Africa I must be dark and upset at any light skinned woman and her success? Girl bye…

Oksalayo, Beyonce has only performed in South Africa once, let alone the rest of Africa. She once performed in Ethiopia eons ago (2007 to be exact) and reportedly performed in Nigeria once but how is that even significant in a continent with over 52 countries of fans of her music? Fans that she claims to love and appreciate.

A lot of the justification for Beyonce’s actions stems from most people’s belief that she (and many other brown people of the world) are of African descent so they are naturally entitled to the culture but what culture? “African” is not a culture people!

It has been made very evident that a lot of Americans and Europeans of African descent actually feel entitled to this mystery mass culture that they have created in their minds but very few of them make attempts to learn and live the culture beyond its attire and decorative appeal.

“African” refers to people from Africa. “African” is not a collective culture in and of itself. We have Igbo, Yoruba, Swahili, Kikuyu, Ndebele, Zulu, Kente and hundreds others, so if you’re so African, what culture did your ancestors belong to/celebrate? What part of Africa are they/you from? What tribe do you rep and what culture are you trying to keep alive?

Do you even practice the customs of these tribes you so ignorantly claim or do you think it’s fine to cherry pick the parts that are cool and toss the ones you deem barbaric?

AKA is an African born man of African descent that knows who he is. He has never worn ibeshu and claimed to be something he is not because he thinks it looks cool. Beyonce on the other hand has cherry picked parts of African culture which she has then commodified and she can’t even do so much as honor the very place she says she comes from beyond wearing it like a costume.

Beyond honouring the place she comes from, many assume that financial constraints keep Bey from coming here.

Trust us, we can afford her. If Americans have to sell all sorts of things for Beyonce concert tickets, surely we can crack open our savings for a concert that will surely be worth every cent.

There have been many attempts to bring her to South Africa and money has never been the issue, so one can only assume that Bey just isn’t feeling Africa as much as she claims to. If other American and European artists can come here and sell out or biggest stadiums, Beyonce sure as hell can.

And please don’t tell us about schools and orphanages as though she built them with her own hands and hand picked the new decor. She donated the money and carried on with her life AND that is not the topic at hand.

Wearing Africa like a costume without actually wanting to come near the place feels very insulting. It is the same as The Kardashian-Jenners wanting all the aesthetic of blackness without the realities of being black. Yes, I just compared her to them.

Her actions make it seem as though the idea of who and what we are is more appealing to her than the reality of us and for someone who claims to love and appreciate us as fans… that love feels like a lie.

Wake us up when we become more than a costume and a tool to make her and her peers more relatable, more real, more black. Wake us up when she decides to show Africa some real respect.

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