By Kundai Marunya
The second annual Mapopoma Festival has pulled the plug on South African musician Babes Wodumo’s performance at the year-end event over xenophobic rants posted on the musician’s Twitter handle last week.
The festival, to be held in the resort town of Victoria Falls in December, claims that it is not safe for the musician to travel to Zimbabwe after a public outcry over her rants.
A statement posted by Mapopoma Festival Communication Department on the festival’s Facebook page, said the musician will no longer be performing at the festival.
“This serves to advise our valued stakeholders, sponsors and all those that had brought our early bird tickets that Babes Wodumo will no longer be performing at the second edition of Mapopoma Festival slated for Victoria Falls Club from December 29 to 31,” reads the statement.
“This decision was reached after extensive consultations between Babes Wodumo’s management and the Mapopoma Festival Board of Directors after the controversial xenophobic tweets from her official Twitter account, wherein the musician alleges that she was hacked.
“The reaction from the public points to the fact that Babes Wodumo’s safety and security at the festival is seriously compromised and as such, it was mutually resolved that her performance at the festival be cancelled due to these growing security concerns.”
Some of her the tweets from her account alleged that Zimbabweans are owning houses built for poor South Africans and demanded they leave her country.
“Khona manje (right now) Zimbabweans are owning RDP houses. Houses that were strictly built for South Africans… why mara heee (but why)? Bahola (receive) I grant! With our tax money! Abahambe (they should go)!” she tweeted.
The musician has since distanced herself from the tweets, alleging her account was hacked after a public outcry with locals seeking to block her from ever setting foot in Zimbabwe.
Mapopoma organisers have given assurances that they will be worthy replacements on their line-up, while other South Africans scheduled to perform will showcase as planned.
“The festival is going ahead according to plan and Mapopoma Festival will in the next coming weeks, avail more exciting headline acts that are expected to give revellers a memorable festival, where we expect to celebrate our culture and embrace the spirit of love and Ubuntu that binds us all as African brothers and sisters,” reads the statement.
Other South African acts at the festival include Big Nuz and Destruction Boyz.