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September 2, 2022 1:20 pm

South African Grammy-Winning DJ Performs in Israel Ignoring BDS Outcry

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A promotional photo for Black Coffee’s Sept. 1 concert in Israel. Photo: Screenshot.

South African D.J. Black Coffee performed Thursday night in Israel despite efforts by supporters of the anti-Israel BDS movement to have the artist cancel his show.

The Grammy award-winning disc jockey performed to a packed crowd at the event venue Live Park, located in Rishon LeZion. The concert was his third performance in Israel.

On Tuesday, the BDS group Africa4Palestine condemned the DJ, producer and songwriter — whose real name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo — for moving forward with his concert in Israel.

“This performance in the Apartheid State of Israel is in violation of the cultural boycott of Israel,” the group said. “It is an insult to the oppressed masses of Palestine and their progressive Jewish Israeli allies who have repeatedly called on DJ Black Coffee and other artists to boycott Apartheid Israel. It is in disregard of the popular will of his fans and of South Africans who have previously lambasted him for his Israeli Apartheid tendencies.”

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Africa4Palestine also claimed Black Coffee’s performances in the Jewish state amounted to “tacit support for Israel’s Apartheid and ethnic cleansing project,” and that his Sept. 1 concert “will be in disregard for the humanity of Palestinians and constitutes a disregard for our own history and is a betrayal of the cause of freedom.”

Black Coffee, who was born in South Africa’s port city of Durban, has performed at the Coachella music festival, Ultra and in venues around the world. He won his first Grammy award earlier this year for best dance/electronic album for his seventh studio record, “Subconsciously,” becoming the first African to win in the category. He has collaborated with Pharrell Williams, fellow DJ David Guetta, Drake, Alicia Keys, Usher and Diplo

In 2018, Africa4Palestine urged him to cancel his then-concert in Israel, but he refused to comply.

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), released a statement at the time calling on Black Coffee and other artists to not perform in Israel and contribute to the “normalization of Israel’s suppression of the Palestinian people.” Minister Lindiwe Zulu, chairperson of the ANC’s subcommittee on international relations, also expressed “deep concern” about Black Coffee’s concert in Israel.

Following his 2018 sold-out performance in Tel Aviv, Black Coffee shared on Twitter a video from show and told his followers that he “loved” the city. Social media users were quick to slam Black Coffee for ignoring calls to boycott Israel with his performance, but he tweeted in response: “Like everyone else I have rights and free will and no Black Coffee is not a political party…”

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