AKA ‘done with opening shows for international artists’

Talking point in hip-hop circles has been Kiernan Forbes's latest and welcome tirade on social media.

The rapper, known as AKA, tweeted that he would no longer open for visiting international acts.

"That's it! I'm done with opening shows for international artists that get superior treatment when performing in our country," he tweeted.

AKA was referring to how fellow South African artists, who were part of the Miller Boomtown Kendrick Lamar South African tour line-up, were treated earlier this month.

"We don't get the same sound or lights as the international artists do. I heard that our artists who performed at the Kendrick Lamar concert were told that if they walked on Lamar's ramp, he wouldn't perform."

"This concept of exposure doesn't make sense to me," the Jealousy rapper told the Mail & Guardian.

"Who are you exposing me to? My own people?"

AKA has opened for Kanye West, Snoop Lion, Rick Ross, 2Chainz and most recently, Big Sean, which he said has been a more pleasant experience compared to other concerts he has opened for. 

"Big Sean's was the biggest concert I have been part of. There were activations [and] commercials that we were part of. For the first time we had an ad campaign that promoted both Big Sean and us. I really loved being part of that concert – especially because we used the same equipment on stage and we could interact with him backstage."

AKA said it's the responsibility of artists to change the way local artists are treated at big concerts. "I can't be the only person speaking out about it. We need to all stand together and say 'this is the minimum standard we are going to accept'."

"It can only change once we stop feeling like it is a great honour to open for these artists. I don't think there actually is a need for local artists to open at these concerts – unless they grant the opportunity to up-and-coming artists."

"Local artists not being allowed to use Kendrick’s ramp was one of his requests in his contract. Local artists should also learn to put in their demands, as long as they are not unrealistic," Miller Boomtown publicist Melanie Ramjee told Sunday World.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


‘Frustrated’ police resort to force

Regulation uncertainty leaves slap-happy police and soldiers to decide when people should or shouldn’t be allowed on the streets

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders