Nicki Minaj made the controversial decision this week to perform in Angola, and it’s a decision that has human rights supporters calling foul. For a celebrity who openly discusses inequality and who criticized this year’s VMA award committee for not nominating her for “Anaconda,” a song that celebrates black women’s bodies, Minaj is coming under a considerable amount of fire for her decision to accept $2 million from dictator President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to perform in Angola.
Nicki Minaj even went so far as to celebrate her new-found friendship with Isabel dos Santos, who is one of the richest women in the world. According to the Telegraph, Angola’s only billionaire is believed to have amassed her fortune largely through corruption in a country rife with endemic poverty and human rights abuses. Nicki performed a concert hosted by Unitel, which is Angola’s largest mobile phone company and partially owned by the dos Santos family.
In an Instagram photo uploaded by Nicki, Minaj can be seen posing with dos Santos, captioning the photo “no big deal…she’s just the 8th richest woman in the world,” exclaiming how meeting dos Santos “motivates me soooooooooo much,” and telling fans that “[s]uccess is yours for the taking!!!!!”
Of course, critics now speculate why Nicki Minaj is motivated by “woman sitting on billions of dollars while her fellow countrymen are living in endemic poverty.”
According to the News Post, the oppressive governmental regime in Angola arrested 15 activists, including a prominent rapper, during a public gathering where a book about non-violent resistance to repressive regimes was being read.
Minaj also shared photos before the performance that netted her $2 million, including one that features Nicki, draped in furs and surrounded by an entourage, arriving in Angola in a private jet, as well as one where she drapes herself in the country’s flag and thanks Angola for such a wonderful time.
Thor Halvorssen, the president of the Human Rights Foundation, claims that by playing in Angola, Nicki Minaj has “revealed the depth of her ignorance.”
For her critics, Minaj has just one response. The rapper posted on her Twitter account on December 16 that “[e]very tongue that rises up against me in judgement shall be condemned.”
Still, fans are wondering what’s going on with Nicki Minaj since this is not her first questionable decision. Earlier this month, her brother Jelani Maraj was arrested for raping a 12-year-old child and is now facing charges of first-degree rape of a child younger than 13 charges and first-degree sexual conduct against a child. Her brother, who was only recently married, is out on $100,000 bail, which Minaj herself posted.
To secure the bond, Minaj offered two homes in New York state that she owns. One home is occupied by her brother and the other by her mother, Carol. Currently, her brother is awaiting another court date.
Nicki Minaj and her brother are famously tight, and Nicki has even said that she would do anything for her brother, including paying $30,000 for his wedding venue. At the time, Nicki also told fans that she cried during her brother’s wedding and shared over Instagram that “I love my brother so much man.”
Still, the decision to bail out her brother is just as questionable as her decision to accept a high payday from a dictator accused of human rights violations. For a celebrity as supportive of the #BlackLivesMatter movement as Minaj, some are seeing her decision to play in Angola as a complete hypocritical turn. Or, as one critic put it, according to the Telegraph, Nicki Minaj supports the movement only when convenient and ignores her commitment when “those black lives happen to be in Angola [and] their lives matter less than a paycheck from a dictator.”
What do you think? Should Nicki Minaj have performed in Angola? Does she care only about money? Leave your comment below!
[Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images]