Dear Africa, You’re Cool but Not Cool Enough – With Love #TheCarters
We’re all fans of The Carters or at the very least can name a track or two of theirs that had us dancing. To back that up Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s second On the Run(ii) Tour is selling out fast.
They could do no wrong until I stumbled on a piece that got me thinking…
It’s no secret The Carters often turn to Africa for inspiration. The promo trailer for their latest tour contained a still black and white photo of the duo straddling a cow-skull-fronted motorbike which was paying homage to a classic 1970 African film, Touki Bouki. A homage many picked up on and commended the power couple for.
It is not the first time Mama Carter – Beyoncé has looked to Africa for a loan on creativity; her 2017 Grammy performance incorporated the Yoruba goddess Oshun in styling. In the 2011 hit, Run the World (Girls), the video featured Panstula moves, Queen Beyoncé flew in dancers from Mozambique to teach her their moves.
With that said, when will the Carters finally grace Africa with a live performance?
Both On the Run tours have no African cities scheduled, Beyoncé’s past tours have reached as far as Western Europe and South America. Her Highness last performed in Africa in 2004 at the 46664 Nelson Mandela Foundation charity concert, when she was still a member of Destiny’s Child. All the while husbae Jay-Z last toured Africa in 2006.
Well, the Carters aren’t the only ones on the list.
Other artists like Kendrick Lamar take inspiration from Africa in his song ‘All the Stars are closer’. Daniel Glover AKA Childish Gambino incorporated a scene from South African Apartheid-inspired movie Sarafina. Rihanna has worked with African visuals in her ‘where have you been’ music video. There is clear indication that something about our Africa attracts these international artists and of course we’re flattered.
Why is performing in Africa seen as a charity appearance? Another charity concert is set for December this year and the power couple is stated to be headlining alongside acts like Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams in Johannesburg, South Africa. The show is a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela and marks a little over a decade since the Carters have graced us.
It’s not as if we are asking the Carters to tour Africa in its entirety but a stop in a city or two and preferably not decades apart.
“… even considering adding a city to their tour schedule, artists have to consider, the costs of getting there and doing business in that local economy…,”says Ray Waddell, president for media and conferences with the Oak View Group.
International acts like Migos and Katy Perry to mention a few can attest to Africa’s profits, South Africa provides a base for acts to connect live with their African fans that are willing to save and pay for tickets like any other fans. Yes, we might not have everything figured out but it is disappointing when icons like The Carters are so vocal about issues pertaining to people of colour in their music while snubbing the cradle of mankind on the side!