Ghanaian rapper Kwame Ametepee Tsikata, professionally called M.anifest, has advised his fellow African artistes to stay away from political and social commentary, especially during their international engagements unless they have done their research and have the capability to productively hold such conversation.
“Not every artiste is supposed to be a voice for you outside of their music,” he asserted.
Explaining his point, he added that: “They might not even have the capability. They will fumble.”
He expressed wonder for why “international media platforms” question “most African artistes” as though “all of them are Nigeria’s afrobeat pioneer and activist Fela Kuti.”
Stressing that it should not be so, and it is “one of the things I absolutely do not enjoy,” he posited that “you don’t develop that capability overnight.”
“To be able to have clarity of thought about social issues, your political views, ideology, it is very different from being able to put a song together that’s a rallying cry,” he told his University of Ghana (UG), Legon audience in a video posted to Twitter and sighted by Class News‘ Prince Benjamin.
The award-winning rapper encouraged “people who are around a lot of African artistes to protect them in these situations.”
On what he meant by that, he said: “Tell your people [artistes] that, ‘Yo, when you get there and they’re asking you these questions rephrase it and tell them what it is that you do and your part and roles in these things’.”
Turning his focus to his fellow artistes, he admonished: “Don’t let anybody turn you into a historian when you’re not. And if you want to be, prepare yourself.”