Diamond Platnumz, who is billed to perform in Berlin on Saturday (7 September), has waded into the debate on the xenophobic attacks against African immigrants in South Africa.
Speaking at a press briefing in the German capital city on Friday, the visiting Tanzanian artist expressed his sadness at the developments.
“It’s not good for Africa. It’s not good for Africans to be fighting each other. I would like to address our leaders, to find a way to solve the problem.
If they don’t solve it, it can get worse. It doesn’t make sense to me,” Diamond Platnumz, whose real name is Nasib Abdul, said.
“We need more unity in Africa.”
On the decision of Nigerian artists, such as Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy, who have announced that they would not be performing in South Africa in protest against the attacks, East Africa’s undisputed king of pop said, “I respect everybody’s opinions and decisions. I can’t judge them. They have their right to make their decision.”
On what role artists could play at a time of crisis like this, he replied, “There’s no big role for artists in this situation. From where the situation has reached now, there’s no big role artists can play. There’s no way artists can command and tell people what to do.”
He quickly added: “The only role artistes can play now is to tell the leaders to solve the problem, to control the situation. This situation is not good for artists themselves. If Nigerian artists don’t go to South Africa, South African artists can’t go to Nigeria. Where do we go from there?”
“Africa doesn’t need this.”
On what he would like to achieve with his concert in Berlin on Saturday, the multi-award winning artist who popularised the Tanzanian hip-hop “bongo flava” worldwide, said: “I want my people to know that there’s an African musician in town. I want them to know that I’ll represent them well because I am representing Africa”.
“Whoever comes tomorrow, I want to make sure to make them proud. I want to make everybody proud tomorrow.”
Diamond Platnumz will perform at the prestigious Columbiahalle in Germany’s biggest city on Saturday, 7 September at a concert tagged #SIMBAinBERLIN.