Major sponsor pulls out of kwaito awards after outrage over Brickz' performance
In the wake of widespread public backlash over convicted rapist and kwaito artist Brickz' performance at the Kwaito and House Music Awards nomination party on Friday night‚ TransAfrica Radio has withdrawn as a sponsor.
Brickz‚ who was found guilty of raping a 17-year-old relative in 2013 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison‚ was released on bail in April pending the appeal against his conviction.
While organisers claimed they booked the artist because he still owed them money for a gig he missed the year before‚ Brickz told TshisaLIVE that the law had taken him out of prison and there was nothing in his bail conditions which prevented him from performing.
In reaction to the outrage‚ TransAfrica Radio said they reached out to the awards' organisers and after being told that Brickz would stay on the bill‚ decided to end their partnership.
"Unfortunately the organisers have through their PR practitioner informed us that Brickz stays. We have subsequently informed them that TransAfrica Radio can no longer be their partner‚" the station's co-founder Busi Ntuli - Adebule said on Twitter.
Busi said the decision was a "no-brainer" and the station had the "duty to be on the right side of influence."
"It was a no-brainer. The creative industry has since the beginning of time played an influential role in society. It is our duty to be on the right side of influence. I still love kwaito and house music."
Despite the outcry‚ Brickz performed at the awards as planned and was cheered on by the crowd.
The awards' founder and CEO‚ Perfecta Khumalo‚ was not deterred and said the awards would not "abandon" SA musos.
"MKHMA will never abandon SA musicians even if it means losing sponsors or media falsely labelling us‚" a statement from the awards read.
She added that putting artists first was one of the guiding principles of the awards.
“We started this in 2016 because of the passion and we are still going strong‚ hence one of our values is to put the artist first."
The awards are set to be held on November 24 at Carnival City’s Big Top Arena.