HIP-hop artiste Slap Dee recently attended a conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which discussed xenophobia following the latest attacks on foreigners in South Africa.
The conference was organised by the ANIKE Foundation and Slap Dee was invited along with 11 other African artistes, who were encouraged to become ambassadors of peace in Africa.
Notable among the artistes in attendance were Nigerians Tiwa Savage and 2Face Idibia, Diamond from Tanzania and Lira from South Africa.
“The conference dealt mainly with the root causes of xenophobia and what we as African artistes can do to encourage unity among African countries,” Slap Dee explained.
He said the conference revealed how xenophobic attacks arise when a country’s economy is imbalanced and its resources are not distributed equally.
However, Slap Dee noted that xenophobia is not confined to South Africa alone, but happens in other parts of Africa although on a smaller scale.
One of the resolutions arising from the conference was the idea for African artistes to collaborate even more as a way to unite different African cultures.
“As artistes, we play a huge part in changing negative attitudes that may exist among Africans of different nationalities about each other,” he said.
Additionally, the artists were encouraged to use their influence to talk about the beauty of other African countries and not regard Africa as comprising different countries but rather as one country.
“It’s all about encouraging the spirit of Ubuntu or togetherness as artistes,” Slap Dee said.
Other than creating music that spreads messages of unity and peace, Slap Dee learnt that touring other lands and learning about different African cultures are an effective way of bridging the gap among Africans of various origins.