Tanzanian popular singer, Naseeb Abdul Juma Issack, popularly known by his stage name, Diamond Platnumz’s hopes in the 2021 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards are narrowing.
This follows an NGO, Change Tanzania spearheading petitions seek his disqualification from the BET Awards scheduled on 27 June, 2021.
Change Tanzania, accuses Diamond of supporting an autocratic rule of the late president John Pombe Magufuli.
According to the petition published by the NGO, the ‘Waah’ crooner used his fame and talent to whitewash and deodorize the “brutal repression” of the late president John Magufuli, who they call a dictator, and his time in office.
“Diamond Platnumz is a world-renowned Tanzanian artist who used his popularity and his talent to whitewash and deodorize the brutal repression of the late dictator John Magufuli and his regime,” Change Tanzania stated.
Change Tanzania also links Diamond to Mr. Paul Makonda a former governor of Tanzania who was appointed by the singer as the patron of his music label and media company called Wasafi.
It says Mr. Paul Makonda demeaned the LGBTI status in Tanzania and has since been designated in 2020 by the US State Department for gross violation of human rights.
“Diamond is also a close friend and business ally of Paul Makonda, the former governor who openly persecuted and cracked down on LGBTI people. Makonda has also been designated in 2020 by the US State Department for gross violations of human rights including cracking down on freedom of expression and association,” it added.
Mr. Makonda is also accused of using their famous Wasafi Festival for publicity and to sanitize Diamond’s image.
Diamond is further accused of remaining silent when the former government suppressed his fellow artists with imprisonments and abductions.
“In 2016, Diamond made Paul Makonda the Patron of his music label and media company called Wasafi. Makonda has used the Wasafi Festival for publicity and to sanitize his image. Also throughout the increased level of repression when fellow artists were imprisoned and abducted Diamond remained silent. In 2017, he deliberately released a single called “Acha Nikae Kimya” (Let me remain quiet) as a response to the increasing demand from the public to speak up and condemn the crackdowns. Diamond to-date has not condemned or spoken up on any of the atrocities committed.”
The 31-year-old was nominated in the International Act Category alongside Nigeria’s Burna Boy, who has in the past bagged the BET Award, Wizkid, Brazil’s Emicida, Young T & Bugsey from the UK, among others.
This category has consistently gone to artists who have been very conscientious and stood up for justice for African lives, something which Change Tanzania believes Diamond Platnumz has failed to do.
It’s believed that more than 20, 000 people have already signed online petitions.