Nicki Minaj performed at a concert over the weekend in Angola and it had some people disappointed.
On Saturday, she took to the stage to headline the Show Unitel Boas Festas, supposedly meaning “Christmas festival”, taking place in Luanda, Angola. Why were people upset? Apparently a human rights group was protesting Minaj’s performance because the event was coordinated by president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who they claim consistently violates human rights.
According to an article titled Nicki Minaj Shouldn’t Be Performing for Dictators, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), who were calling for Minaj to step down, says dos Santos “exploited Angola’s vast natural resource wealth to build an enormous business empire, enriching his family and positioning them at the top of the country’s key industries.” They also claim he “uses rigged elections to fake democratic credentials, and his suppression of dissent is ruthless. As part of a national wave of arrests, his regime has put 17 activists on trial for reading books on nonviolent resistance. Earlier this year, his security officers carried out and covered up a massacre of hundreds of civilians.”
Despite the HRF’s pleas for her to not perform Nicki did anyway and, to perhaps make matters worse, she posted a picture on Instagram of her and the president’s daughter, Isabel dos Santos, and a caption reading: "She's just the 8th richest woman in the world. (At least that's what I was told by someone b4 we took this photo) Lol. Yikes!!!!! GIRL POWER!!!!! This motivates me soooooooooo much!!!!" This prompted the organization to call Nicki Minaj ignorant and say she was hostile to criticism. They also slammed her in a statement in which they reveal what they believe to be a double standard.
“Minaj’s payday is all the more jarring given that she and her managers joined the chorus of the Black Lives Matter movement. It appears that when those Black lives happen to be in Angola, their lives matter less than a paycheck from a dictator.”
It should be noted that Nicki Minaj isn’t the first to perform in Angola and become the target of the HRF. Billboard points out that Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado and Erykah Badu all have been urged to not perform for “tyrants in Gabon, Turkmenistan, Chechnya, Kazakhstan, and Swaziland in exchange for seven-figure paychecks.”
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(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIDAL)