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Yasiin Bey Reveals Statement On South African Arrest And Announces Retirement: "No More Parties In SA"

Yasiin Bey has released a statement on his arrest in South Africa and news of his retirement via Kanye West's official website.


On Friday, we reported Yasiin Bey (better known as Mos Def) was arrested on Thursday in Cape Town, allegedly over using a World Passport while trying to leave the country. Okayafrica spoke with Bey's official representative who maintains that the allegations against him are false.

Up until now Bey himself has been silent. Tonight, the rapper and actor released an official message on Kanye West's website.

The ten-minute phone recording begins with a freestyle from Bey that nods to Kanye's new songs, "No More Parties in L.A." and "Real Friends":

“Peace, this is Yasiin. No more parties in SA. Please, tell them no more parties in SA. Ain't home arrest, I don’t need to stay. I'll leave and I'll stay away. I committed no crime any place. Why these police up in my face? Why they raiding my place? Why I don't feel safe? This is not an expression of fear. This is just to make things clear. My intentions are pure in coming here. And that's for everything I love or hold dear. Umi's in the building. So is my wife and my children. I committed no crime. Why is the state wasting my time? They must be out of theirs minds. I forgive them, that's the spirit of divine. I just wanna go where I'm wanted. Where I'm loved, stop fronting. Where I live is my choice. You cannot mute my voice. Thank you Kanye West for being a real friend, a real friend, a real friend. No more parties in SA. Please, no more parties in SA. I heard your choice the first time, I'll go away. And when I leave, that's exactly where I'll stay. This is not an expression of fear. This is just to make things clear. A country called Earth, everywhere, a country called Earth, everywhere. No more parties in SA. Please, no more parties in SA."

Bey then says that he's currently in Cape Town, where he's "being prevented from leaving; unjustly, unlawfully and without any logical reason" and the South African government wants to deport his family.

He continues to maintain that the World Passport is not a ficticitious document and that he has broken no laws. "I have made no false claims," he says. "I have not misrepresented myself. I'm under unnecessary state supervision... And, I have reason to believe, or suspect, that there are political motivations behind the way that I am being treated. This is following no reasonable strain of logic, and it's also... curious. I haven't broken any law. And I'm being treated like a criminal."

According to Bey, he just wants to go home. "All I seek is to leave this state. I'm not looking to state any future claims against things for damages and none of that. People keep whatever state jobs that they're worried about or concerned about losing, because I just want to go home. And I don't live in America, and I have a right to [...] wherever I please. Without fear, or without interference. The State of South Africa is interfering with my ability to move, but to even fulfill my professional obligations unnecessarily. But that's fine. We don't have to be enemies and we don't have to be friends either. My family and I are prepared immediately to make whatever move that we need to make outside of this state never to return to this state again. We don't have to be here. We're not [...] to be here. And we're compliant in every possible way, reasonably."

Bey also reveals that he's retiring from the music industry and Hollywood, effective immediately. He'll be releasing his final album in 2016. "And that's that."

Listen to Bey's full message via kanyewest.com.

**Correction, January 20 5:10pm EST: We previously reported Yasiin Bey was given 14 days to leave South Africa. Bey himself will appear for trial on March 8. His family was ordered to leave South Africa by January 29, 2016.

**Correction: The lyrics to Yasiin Bey's freestyle have been updated to say "Umi's in the building."

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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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