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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: Recording artist Diamond Platnumz attends the 2016 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Tanzanians Petition for Diamond Platnumz's Disqualification from BET Awards

Tanzanians have launched a petition calling for Diamond Platnumz to have his BET nomination rescinded because of his affiliation to the late President John Magufuli.

A number of Tanzanians have collectively endorsed a petition which they hope will have musician Diamond Platnumz disqualified from this year's BET Awards. The Tanzanian artist, known for his distinct Bongo Flava sound, was recently nominated for a BET award alongside Nigeria's Burna Boy and Wizkid in the Best International Act category. However, Tanzanians behind the petition want his nomination rescinded due to his close ties and public support for the late President John Magufuli.

READ: #FreeErickKabendera Speaks Volumes about Tanzania's Approach to Political Dissidents

According to Music Africa, at least 18000 people have already signed the online platform. The petition was reportedly published by Change Tanzania, a social movement focused on bringing about sustainable change in the country. An excerpt from the petition itself reads as follows:

"Diamond Platnumz is a world-renowned Tanzanian artist who used his popularity and his talent to whitewash and deodorise the brutal repression of the late dictator John Magufuli and his regime...In 2020, despite a huge outcry locally and internationally against Magufuli and his regime, Diamond endorsed this brutal dictator, dedicated a song to him ('Magufuli Baba Lao') and several times took to stage with him during the campaign."

Change Tanzania also alleges that Diamond Platnumz has also failed to show solidarity for other artists, including comedian Idris Sultan, who have been arrested under Magufuli's former regime. However, Diamond Platnumz has not gone completely unscathed either as he was detained by authorities back in 2018 after posting what was deemed an "inappropriate" photo on social media.

Although neither the artist nor BET have commented on the matter as yet, there is at least a conversation to be had about the intersection of music and politics, particularly when the latter involves dictators. Dr Vincent Magombe, Ugandan journalist, broadcaster and university lecturer, explored this recently for OkayAfrica and expressed why he felt the 2021 Africa Music Awards (MAMAs), should not be held in Uganda, a country battling human rights violations at the hands of President Yoweri Museveni.

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Photo: Spark Creative

Meet the Ghanaian-British Designer Behind Janet Jackson's Latest Cover Look

For her most recent cover shoot, Janet Jackson donned a headpiece co-created by Ghanaian-British designer Chrissa Amuah, who tells us more about how she finds inspiration in her parents' homeland.

After rocking a LaviebyCK design by Cameroon's Claude Kameni in her 2018 'Made for Now' music video, Janet Jackson has turned to another talented African creative for her latest look. On the February 2022 cover of Allure Magazine, in which Jackson talks about executive-producing her documentary, Janet, the multiple Grammy-winning artist is pictured wearing an Ògún headpiece, co-designed by Ghanaian-British textile and furniture designer, Chrissa Amuah.

"I’ve always been a fan and respected her craft and work ethic,” Amuah told OkayAfrica. “For Ms Jackson to wear the Ògún in promotion of her new documentary sends a powerful message of enduring brilliance, integrity, and walking in the strength of our true voices.”

Of Ghanaian, Togolese, and Beninese heritage, Amuah was born to Ghanaian parents in London and draws inspiration from the Ghanaian Adinkra symbol in her work as the founder and Creative Director of AMWA Designs, a luxury homeware and interiors brand established in 2014. Making her international debut at the Milan Design Week, she gained worldwide acclaim in 2015, and a few years later, was named “Consumer and Luxury Rising Star” at the 2017 Black British Business Awards.

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