Other Side of the Game singer Erykah Badu found herself on the other side of the country caught up in other people’s blood diamonds, cheap labor, polygamy, and dictatorship over a lil’ sangin’ and cake.
Human Rights activists are targeting the R & B songbird after her performing for Swaziland’s King of controversy: King Mswati III for his 46th birthday, for her personal friend Jacob Arabo (a.k.a Jacob the Jeweler) this past Thursday.
The Window Seat singer was completely unaware of the political climate, or the leader’s reputation in the country and was recording in a studio in South Africa when she was asked by her friend to press pause, hang a left, and hop into a helicopter in preparation for the impromptu performance.
Unbeknownst to Badu, the dictator she performed for is accused of living a lavish lifestyle in the poor nation and is alleged to be involved in torture and other human right abuse [of its citizens].
The Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein scolded Badu, stating: “She owes us all an explanation. The king is a kleptocrat who lives in the lap of obscene luxury while most of his countrymen toil in abject poverty for less than $2 a day.”
In an interview with Texas’ Dallas Morning, Erykah explained that Jacob [the Jeweler] was organizing the birthday party for the King and needed a last-minute replacement for another performer who reneged last-minute so the On and On singer merely took that performer’s place.
The shin-dig took place in the Mavuso Centre in Manzini where Badu Live sang “Happy Birthday,” and handed the King a gift from Jacob the Jeweler.
Erykah further explains: “I was not paid by the KING. I had no idea of the political climate. All the people were smiling when I sang. I was smiling. We ALL felt good in that moment.”
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