BULAWAYO-based singer Sandra Ndebele has defended her campaign against South African artists performing in the city saying they should stage shows after the xenophobic attacks have ended.
BY BATANAI MUTASA
Ndebele, who rose to fame as part of Iyasa at Mpopoma High School, took to social networking sites early this week to denounce shows by South Africans scheduled for this month.
Durban-based group Big Nuz, whose show had been scheduled for last night at the Bulawayo Amphitheatre, cancelled their trip to Zimbabwe at the last minute.
However, Cassper Nyovest, a high-riding South African rapper has defied the campaign that degenerated into threats against his life and will perform at the Hartsfield Rugby Ground next weekend.
Nyovest said he would donate proceeds of his Bulawayo gig to victims of the violence that include hundreds of Zimbabweans.
Ndebele said her campaign was justified because South Africans could not be partying with locals while their counterparts were butchering Zimbabweans.
“I repeat that we cannot dance to these South African artists that are coming when South Africans are killing our brothers,” she told Southern Eye yesterday.
Ndebele said once the hate crimes against foreigners in South Africa end, the artistes would be free to perform in Bulawayo again.
“We have been taught to let bygones be bygones and I do not believe they are in any danger because the independence we are celebrating this weekend taught us to be very civil,” she said. “I believe the worst we can do is to boycott their shows.”
Ndebele said although Nyovest’s decision to stage the show and donate proceeds to victims of the violence was noble, she was not sure if he would be welcomed in Bulawayo.
The dance queen urged Zimbabweans under siege in South Africa to return home.
“I want to extend an invitation to all Zimbabweans facing this purge to come back home because doors are open and we can work together to build greener pastures here,” she added.
Meanwhile, Ndebele will today headline an independence day after-party at Terrace Gardens. She said the show will celebrate Zimbabwe’s 35th independence anniversary.
“I have lost a bit of weight and am geared up to dance the night away.
If the people want Malaika, Mama, Bamb’ iqolo or any of my other songs, they will have a chance to watch them live,” she said.
“As a born free, I want to show the nation that we are proud of the freedom we have in the country which I will celebrate with friends, fans and family.”
Ndebele said Bulawayo musicians lacked a platform to showcase their talents and was looking forward to Terrace filling that void.
“That’s why you see less of Jeys Marabini, Ndux Junior or Sandra Ndebele performing outside private functions and so I applaud the Terrace for this initiative to fill in that gap,” Ndebele said.
“As such, we should not blame residents for not supporting us when we don’t give them the platform to come and watch us.
“If we do it for two or three months and they still don’t turn up, then we can start blaming them.
“In a nutshell, this is not a day to miss because I have to prove to the people of Bulawayo that they are still in my heart, so they should come in their numbers, support us and definitely they will see a lot more of us.”
Terrace owner Dave Ncube said Ndebele would perform at the venue once a month.
“We are growing from strength to strength and I understand that some people might feel hard done by the entry charge, but Sandra is an international artiste who deserves the respect and meets the standard,” he said. The cover charge has been pegged at $3.