JOHANNESBURG, July 17 – Celebrated South African author, Zakes Mda, will not be using any music from DJ Black Coffee (real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo) for his upcoming movie as a result of the musician’s performances in Israel.
“There are some great Black Coffee sounds that would be ideal for one of the films I’m involved in making. But now, damn, there’s this Israel thing!…” Mda tweeted.
While Mda admits that Maphumulo’s music would have been ideal for the movie that he is involved in making, he preferred to work with an “untainted DJ”. The author has indicated that he has already received several offers from other musicians to use their music in the project.
DJ Black Coffee was subject to widespread criticism after he performed a show in April in Tel Aviv, just as Israeli army snipers killed dozens of unarmed Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip during the Great Return March. Israel’s violent response to peaceful Palestinian protests in Gaza prompted the South African government to recall its ambassador from Israel.
In 2014, the South African branch of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement appealed to DJ Black Coffee to cancel his show in Israel and respect the cultural boycott that is being imposed on Israel as a result of its illegal occupation of Palestine. The artist ignored the plea and went on to play in Israel on two other occasions since then.
The multi award-winning Mda – a liberation struggle veteran who was conferred South Africa’s Order of Ikhamanga in 2014 for his contribution in the field of literature – is a staunch supporter of the boycott movement against Israel, and has previously declined invitations to book fairs in Israel.
Mda’s refusal to work with Maphumulo as a result of his multiple performances in Israel is an indication of the strength and growth of the cultural boycott of Israel, particularly in South Africa. Soon after Maphumulo’s April show, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) called for a cultural boycott of Israel.
“We call on all artists to have an appreciation of the role played by the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement in the successful international isolation of apartheid South Africa. The people of Palestine are in a just cause for self-determination and we urge our artists not to form part of the normalisation of Israel’s suppression of the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination and statehood that mirrors our very own struggle,” said Lindiwe Zulu, the chairperson of the ANC’s International Relations Committee. (ANA)