Namibia: R Kelly Causes a Stir Among Namibians

The Namibian Windhoek Netumbo Nekomba
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

News of US R&B singer R Kelly coming to Namibia was met with mixed feelings last week, with some claiming that he was not a good reflection of the country’s image.

Scheduled to perform at the Hage Geingob stadium in Windhoek on Friday, 25 November, the main sponsors of the event Namibia Breweries Limited claimed the company is eager to create « memorable moments for our consumers that money cannot buy, » according to a statement released by Windhoek Draught earlier this week.

Despite Kelly’s impressive collection of music ranging from hits such as ‘Ignition’ to ‘I Believe’, the star has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women as well as sexual relationships with minors and child pornography.

Although he has never been charged, the allegations against Kelly have been plenty, mostly involving minors.

Claims state that he faked the age of 15-year-old Aaliyah Haughton to get married to her. Five years later, 15-year-old Tiffany Hawkins claimed that she had a sexual relationship with Kelly but a confidentiality agreement was signed after two years.

Other chilling claims state that Kelly impregnated 16-year-old Patrice Jones and then paid for her abortion.

Twitter users shared their sentiments on Kelly and why he should not come to Namibia.

« Because he’s been accused of sexual assault. Of underage girls. Multiple times. ‘Settled’ many court cases (in other words, paid them off). Also, there’s symbolism, » @ellis_hugh said. « If a black girl’s story (of sexual assault or whatever) is not believed in Africa, where will it be believed? It’s hard for me – as a 90s teenager, his songs were the soundtrack to my life for a while. »

Another Twitter user, @channelor4nge, agreed. « What does it say about our society if we embrace a predator and overlook repeated violations to the bodies of young black girls? » @cckaira also felt the star should rather not come. « Such a perverted man should be denied a visa. We deny visas to missionaries. »

« Rather bring Nicki Minaj! » @RTimoteus commented. « I personally do not think he is promoting ‘rape culture’, but I think he promotes a more sadistic kind of culture. »

Despite the sentiments above, fans of the singer do not think that his concert will do any harm. « He’s coming with his own duties – of performing. He is not coming to talk about anything regarding rape, » Filipe Cellor said.

Prince Mwilima agreed that it was all about the music. « R Kelly is a great artist. He doesn’t promote rape culture! »

Requests for comment from the organisers went unanswered by time of going to press.

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