Nicki Minaj landed just fine in Angola, and performed for a concert hosted by the allegedly corrupt Angolan President. Human rights activists have been calling Nicki Minaj to not perform at the concert but it seems, for Nicki Minaj, there will be no harm done. Is this really the case?
The Daily Mail reported that Nicki Minaj just performed to a jam-packed crowd last Saturday at the Christmas festival concert sponsored by Unitel communications firm in Angola. So what’s all the fuss? Don’t artists all perform in different countries?
It seems the problem here is Nicki Minaj will be performing for a company partially owned by the rather controversial Angolan President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. When news of Nicki Minaj’s performance at Angola reached Human Rights Foundation (HRF), “a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies,” they immediately came out with an open letter to Nicki Minaj calling out to stop the performance for the allegedly corrupt president.
“As you might know, Unitel, a mobile telephone company controlled by Isabel dos Santos (daughter of Angolan dictator José Eduardo dos Santos) is financing your performance. I am writing to urgently inform you of the human rights crisis in Angola; to explain the role that dictator dos Santos has played in violating the rights of millions of Angolans; and to request that, in view of your status as a global personality, you cancel your performance. Ms. Minaj, the payment you are receiving from your Angolan sponsors is the result of government corruption and human rights violations.”
Nicki Minaj will be paid with “dirty money,” apparently. According to the open letter by Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen, Angolan president dos Santos has been in rule for almost three decades now and within this period, has amassed a huge sum of illegitimate fortune and blood money.
Angola is known to have cruel and obsolete media laws, and all of these are thanks to Angola president dos Santos. The Angola government controls the country’s television and radio stations, and journalists are not given the right to exercise freedom. The open letter also emphasizes that artists like Nicki Minaj will have no right to freely express their opinions in Angola. In fact, fellow rapper, Luaty Beirao was recently arrested and detained after attending a meeting to discuss democracy and non-violence.
Isabel dos Santos, the woman behind the company sponsoring Nicki Minaj’s Angolan gig, is also said to be the main beneficiary of the cruel “blood diamond” trade in Angola.
Halvorssen emphasizes in the open letter that Nicki Minaj might as well be fraternizing with the Angolan administration if she decides to go on with her performance.
“HRF believes that your participation in a performance sponsored by a thuggish kleptocratic dynasty involved in gross human rights violations would be improper. Furthermore, it would be disastrous for a public figure of your standing who has articulated a commitment to education and social justice. HRF asks you to urgently consider canceling your Unitel performance, scheduled for December 19, in Luanda, Angola.”
However, despite these calls, Nicki Minaj still went through with the performance and gave no answer to the qualms of the HRF. In fact (in spite, it seems), she even posted several photos of herself on Instagram arriving in Angola, wearing her skimpy outfit for the performance, and even a photo wearing the Angolan flag.
Do you agree with HRF that Nicki Minaj shouldn’t have pushed through with the performance or are you with Nicki Minaj? Let us know below.
[Images via Nicki Minaj’s Instagram]