https://www.channel24.co.za/Music/News/ghoema-drama-afrikaans-artists-threaten-to-boycott-music-awards-as-multichoice-takes-a-stand-against-steve-hofmeyr-20190417Afrikaans music is once again making for controversial headlines.
This comes after several Afrikaans singers, including Bobby van Jaarsveld and Bok van Blerk, announced on social media that they will be boycotting the annual Ghoema Music Awards.
The Afrikaans music awards, which is set to take place on 17 April at Sun Arena, was asked on 25 March by sponsor MultiChoice to drop a song by singer Steve Hofmeyr from the nominee list.
Die Land (The Land), featuring Steve Hofmeyr, Bok van Blerk, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Jay, and Touch of Class, was nominated in the Best Music Video category.
MultiChoice in a letter to the Ghoemas said it would cut ties with the award show if it didn't remove the song due to Steve Hofmeyr's involvement.
Steve is known for his extremely provocative statements about race and often right-wing comments. Earlier this year the Afrikaans is Groot (AIG) concert found itself without all its main sponsors, including MTN, Toyota, and Media24, after it announced that Steve would be headlining the concert.
In the past both Pick 'n Pay and Land Rover also cut ties with AIG due to Steve's involvement after he in 2014 tweeted: "Sorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of Apartheid. Go figure."
In February this year Steve tweeted a photo of himself with the old South African flag with the caption: "Good rains. Found a waterproof roof. Mooi ne." (Translation: Pretty, right?)
Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group Executive Corporate Affairs, in a statement to Channel24 said: "We are committed to the building of a non-racial society and strongly condemn any acts of discrimination. MultiChoice is proud of its support for Afrikaans, not only our investment in content for our DStv platforms, but also our sponsorships of festivals, events and the broader Afrikaans performing arts sector.
"Our commitment to Afrikaans and all local languages will not change. It has come to our attention that Steve Hofmeyr was nominated for a Ghoema Music Award in the category for Best Music video. We have requested that Steve Hofmeyr not form part of the event that we sponsor as his views are not aligned with our values. We welcome a society where freedom of speech is celebrated, however we take a stand against racism."
BOBBY AND BOK STATEMENT
Bobby van Jaarsveld on Twitter said: "Will not be attending the Ghoemas. If our music isn't welcome, then we surely aren't either. Getting tired of keeping quiet while they bully us."
Bok van Blerk tweeted: "I will definitely not be seen at the Ghoemas…" with a thumbs down emoji.