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Still from 'Xola Moyawami' music video.

Nomcebo Zikode in her 'Xola Moyawami' music video.

South Africans Call Out the Use of Blackface in Bulgarian's Performance of 'Jerusalema'

South Africans have called out a Bulgarian singing show following the use of blackface during a performance of Master KG & Nomcebo Zikode's hit single 'Jerusalema'.

A Bulgarian singing competition show is facing backlash after one of the show's contestants used blackface to perform Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode's hit single "Jerusalema". This comes after a video clip depicting white contestant, Mixela Marinova, removing the blackface began circulating on social media. South Africans have rightfully slammed the show for the apparent ignorance displayed by the show creators and contestant in going ahead with the use of blackface in 2021.


Read: Blackface Endures in France: On Being Black in Top French Schools

The disturbing video of Marinova shows her removing a full on face mask with blackface make-up and prosthetics used to make her look like Zikode. The Bulgarian singing competition, Kato Abe Kankm Boaa (Като две капки вода) , translated to "like two drops of water" prompts contestants to imitate the famous singers behind the hits. According to The Citizen, the video caught the attention of the social media world after Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Porsha Williams, shared the video in which she directly calls out Marinova's disgusting actions.

The video has South Africans outraged and others conflicted; some claiming it is a form of appreciation. However, blackface and cultural appropriation cannot be tolerated on any level. The actions are clearly racist and objectify Black people who have, throughout history, been caricatured with negative connotations. France and the Netherlands are examples of countries that continue the practice of blackface for fear mongering and the mocking of Black people. If anything, the persistent usage of this latest form of blackface as seen in the Bulgarian show proves white people's incessant need to control Black bodies and benifit from the commodification of Black talent, behaviour and culture.

Blackface has also been seen in some South African universities where a predominately Afrikaans culture still exists. One Twitter user correctly asked why Marinova did not perform in her natural appearance since it is after all a singing competition.

The show has yet to issue out an apology or comment and have instead used the clip for the show's promotion. According to TimesLIVE, this is not the first time the show has faced backlash for being culture deaf with regards to blackface and cultural appropriation. Master KG and Zikode have yet to comment.

Here are some responses from Twitter which have been trending under #Nomcebo.






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