Outrage as Chris Brown heads for South Africa
Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
AMERICAN pop singer Chris Brown’s upcoming tour is a kick in the face of women who are beaten by their partners, say activists – but fans can’t wait for his show.
Tickets went on sale yesterday for Brown’s Carpe Diem tour to Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town in December. The tour starts in Sweden next month and has a few European stops before closing in the Mother City.
Brown controversially beat up ex-girlfriend singer, Rihanna, in early 2009. He has since committed to rehabilitation and community service. Rihanna has forgiven him for leaving her face with bruises.
But Kim Pillay-Constant, programme co-ordinator at New World Foundation in Lavender Hill, is among Cape Town locals who have condemned the tour. The foundation raises awareness about gender violence and offers abused women counselling.
“It’s like a kick in the face. This is a country that is already dealing with high levels of violence against women and we are promoting an artist who has been violent towards his partner. He becomes richer and we give him and the world the idea that it’s okay,” said Pillay-Constant.
“He should only be allowed into this country if he does something different in his performances or if he uses his public platform to speak out against gender violence. He needs to give a clear message that he is remorseful.”
But local fashion designer Wayne Govender plans to buy a ticket. “We know he has no respect for women. If people don’t support that then they should not go to his concert. A girl who was beaten up by her boyfriend will still be at his concert though because she likes his music.”
Nikita Williams, a business studies student at University of the Western Cape, is a young woman who will not be at Brown’s show. “I love his music but seeing that he likes beating women I think he should stay at home. People will still go to his show. They think it’s normal for a woman to be beaten, especially in South Africa,” said Williams.
Pleasure Letsoalo, managing director of local tour organiser Canoc Productions, said Brown was one of those artists that people want to see perform. “It’s not our responsibility to be judging him… The most important thing is that we are bringing in an artist that people want to see. One of the most important things is that he has admitted that he made a mistake,” said Letsoalo.