DJ Black Coffee faces Twitter backlash over Israel show

"I'm coming [to Israel] to perform and I hope my visit will help the process of change and promote equality, through the message of peace and love that lives in my music."

April 2, 2018 19:57
1 minute read.
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Twitter and a Facebook logo

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Twitter and a Facebook logo. (photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)


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South African DJ Black Coffee played for thousands of Israeli music lovers in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. But many of his Twitter fans were not pleased that he didn’t boycott the Jewish state.

One of the most prominent critics was Floyd Shimbavu, a South African activist and politician serving as an MP with the Economic Freedom Fighters party.

“That Israel is killing innocent Palestinians & continuing with the occupation doesn’t matter?” Shimbavu tweeted on Monday. “A DJ from SA, a country that benefited due to international solidarity must just go to Israel for a party & we Black people celebrate such? Where’s the political & moral consciousness?”

The activist added, “It is morally & politically insensitive for DJ Black Coffee to just go on partying in Apartheid Israel, whilst it kills & oppresses innocent people.”

Black Coffee, whose real name is Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, received a barrage of similar tweets, but ignored most of them. That is, until Monday morning, when he tweeted that he is working as an entertainer and not making political statements.

“Like everyone else I have rights and free will,” he wrote. “And no, Black Coffee is not a political party... I work as an entertainer to feed my Family. To sum it up... I’ll take a bullet for my Family.”

The DJ also retweeted those who supported his decision, including one user, George Kiblor, who wrote: “There’s lots going on that we know nothing about. Even with compelling evidence, the reality of what is happening cannot be understood until one researches. Cognitive dissonance is a normal response. Twitter culture of near perfection is rubbish, we all once knew nothing.”

This weekend wasn’t the South African musician’s first time performing in the Holy Land. Black Coffee arrived in Tel Aviv in January 2014 and returned in November 2016. Both times he faced thousands of adoring fans as well as online haters.

Before his 2014 show, the DJ posted on Facebook that he was coming to Israel with a message of peace.

“I’m coming here (Israel, Tel Aviv) to perform,” he wrote then, “and I hope my visit will help the process of change and promote equality, through the message of peace and love that lives in my music, if we can dance together we can live together....We Are One.”

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