Outrage as Beyonce’s ‘Gift’ draws backlash from East African artists

Outrage as Beyonce’s ‘Gift’ draws backlash from  East African artists

You may be familiar with Timon and Pumba, from the first Lion King animated film by Disney Junior which kept us glued to our screens growing up. Well, the film has been redone and premiered this week on Wednesday in a grand ceremony in the U.S. and Kenya. However, many artists from the East African region are disappointed after Beyonce’s Lion King Album – ‘The Gift’ was released. It is a collaboration of its own kind incorporating big names from West and South Africa namely: Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Tekno, Mr.Eazi, Burna Bwoy, Wizkid, Shatta Walle among others. Queen Bey, as she is widely known, said the album features African acts and instruments to bring out the continent’s authenticity and feel. So what is it that did not go down so well with too stars like Victoria Kimani, Sauti Sol’s Polycarp and Tanzanian Songbird Vanessa Mdee? There were no East African artists featured in the album! When Victoria Kimani took to Twitter to express her disappointment, she received a backlash from netizens who criticized her claiming the Lion King album was a different project altogether and not the sound track to the film. The Tabia Mbaya hitmaker would however not relent instead insisting that the exclusion of Kenyans and East Africans in general was too obvious. Miss Kimani is often known for her vocal and don’t-care attitude, which has seen her survive trolls online. This time round, a feisty Victoria did not disappoint. She clapped back at each person who criticized her comments. “Ya’ll coulda at least had Lupita or Barack on the outro since we don’t have artists in East Africa,” she replied to one of them. No Kenyan or East African hitmaker has been  featured in the album despite some scenes in the film being shot in Kenya and neighbouring Tanzania. Beautiful scenery and unique Swahili terminologies characterize the movie. Sauti Sol generation artist Polycarp acknowledged talented artists featured in Beyonce’s playlist but questioned why Kenyans were not represented. He noted his disappointment asking netizens to share their views on one of his Instagram posts. The post attracted a lot of responses including one from Wet songbird Vanessa Mdee who said it was not a great move and implies that  East Africa may not have had a representative at Disney or in Queen Bey’s team.  

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