American pop singer Nicki Minaj came under criticism for her upcoming Christmas gig in the southern African nation of Angola. The event was organized by the communications company Unitel which is controlled by President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos’ family.
President Dos Santos, who has ruled Angola for the past 36 years as a dictator, has been accused of using the nation’s oil wealth to enrich himself and his family. His regime has also come under criticism for its intense violation of human rights.
In June, 17 activists were arrested for attempting to organize a reading of the book “From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation”, written by the American academic Gene Sharp.
Among those arrested were Angolan rapper Luaty Beirão, who until very recently was conducting a hunger strike in response to his inhumane treatment in prison.
Several human rights organizations are calling upon Nicki Minaj to cancel the upcoming event. The Human Rights Foundation president, Thor Halvorssen also called upon Mrs. Minaj to consider her role as a “global artist”.
“Millions of people look up to her for creative inspiration,” Mr. Halvorssen said. “There is no good reason for her to do business with the corrupt Angolan dictatorship and endorse the ruler’s family company.”
The Africa policy director for the Robert F Kennedy Center For Justice and Human Rights, Jeffrey Smith, stated that “Nicki Minaj is following in the footsteps of Mariah Carey, callously taking money from a dictator who’s been in power for nearly four decades and who has effectively and ruthlessly choked free expression, setting a horrible precedent not only for Angola, but for the entire region.”
Mrs. Minaj responded to some of the criticism while on twitter saying:
Every tongue that rises up against me in judgement shall be condemned.
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) December 16, 2015
Previous Tweets stated that she was excited about performing for the notorious Angolan dictator Dos Santos and provided a link to purchase tickets.