On Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28, South African bands Sjava and Mafikizolo were due to perform at the Standard Bank Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival in Eswatini. Due to civil instability in the country, the music stars withdrew from the festival, which was hailed by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). Their names will always be inscribed as "true international combatants," according to the political party.
THE ESWATINI PEOPLE ARE SUPPORTED BY SJAVA AND MAFIKIZOLO.
According to The Conversation, the death of University of Eswatini student Thabani Nkomonye in June caused social unrest in Eswatini. Nkomonye is said to have been slain by police. Since then, civilians have opposed the monarchy, resulting in the deaths of dozens of individuals.
Sjava withdrew from the Standard Bank Luju Festival on Wednesday, November 24th, to show solidarity with the people of Eswatini. The event aims to highlight the various cuisine and music of Southern Africa.
On Friday, November 25, Swaziland News reported that South African musical duo Mafikizolo had also withdrawn from the festival to show sympathy with the Eswatini people. Mzwakhe Mbuli, a poet, informed the journal that he was able to persuade Sjava, Mafikizolo, and other musicians to skip the event.
"We couldn't tolerate a situation where some people are having fun while others are wounded, dying, or sad," Mbuli added.
"We couldn't tolerate a situation where people were being killed with live bullets while we pretended it was Christmas.
SJAVA, MAFIKIZOLO, AND MZWAKE MBULI ARE HONORED BY EFF.
The EFF commended the choice of the South African musicians that elected to withdraw from the event in a statement made on Sunday, November 28.
"There can never be happy celebrations in a time of grief for those who have lost their lives and limbs since King Mswati's forces unleashed brutality and murder against pro-democracy protestors in June this year."
The voluntary act of solidarity with Eswatini's marginalized and suffering people is highly welcome.
"The names and brands of the Sjava and Mafikizolo bands, as well as the revolutionary poet Mzwakhe Mbuli, will forever be etched in the scroll of genuine international warriors and sympathizers with the victims of dictatorial King Mswati and his Dlamini family's murderous dictatorship."
STANDARD BANK IS CALLED IN BY EFF.
In its statement, the political party also called on Standard Bank, the event's principal sponsor, to desist from being "directly or indirectly" affiliated with "the brutality of King Mswati's tyrannical dictatorship.
"Now is the moment for any corporations that value universal human rights culture to pull their investments out of Eswatini.
As Artists Against the Absolute Eswatini Monarch, we call on South African artists, cultural workers, academics, and athletes to intensify their fight for a free, peaceful, and democratic society in Eswatini.
EFF sings Sjava and Mafikizolo’s praises after pulling out of Eswatini gig https://www.thesouthafrican.com/lifestyle/entertainment/eff-sjava-mafikizolo-standard-bank-luju-food-and-lifestyle-festival
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