According to a statement attributed to the concert’s organizers; Phambili Media and Play Network Africa, Burna Boy’s presence at the event was no longer tenable following public outcry and tangible threats.
Phambili Media and Play Network Africa stated that it had taken the threats seriously and noted with concern spirited calls for a boycott by the Tshwane Entertainment Collective against the singer.
They added that they could not guarantee the safety of revellers and other stars who are also set to grace the November 23 and 24 event.
"The decision to cancel the Africans Unite Concert comes after the call from the Tshwane Entertainment Collective to boycott the Africans Unite concert in Tshwane. With the increasing threats of violence from other unfortunate segments of the public and without any government intervention, Phambili Media and Play Network Africa were prompted to take the threats and warnings seriously, as the safety of all artists and attendees could not be guaranteed. We then decided to cancel the concert. The safety of all attendees, artists, and crew comes first," read the statement in part.
The organizers highlighted that despite their earlier engagement with the Nigerian singer over Xenophobia, his management had been brought up to speed with their decision to drop him.
"Following extensive engagement with Burna Boy’s management team, Phambili Media and Play Network have decided to withdraw Burna Boy from the Africans Unite Concert. As a result, both legs of the concert which were set to take place on the 23rd of November 2019 at Hillcrest Quarry, Cape Town and 24th of November 2019 at Sun Arena, Pretoria have now been cancelled.
"As one of the artists at the centre stage of the xenophobic attacks uproar, we saw fit to engage him to be a part of the Africans Unite campaign that aims to ultimately change the current negative narrative to that of solidarity and unity. It seems we have failed in this regard,” added the organizers.
The announcement comes under a week after the Nigerian had a change of heart and accepted the invite to headline the concert in Cape Town after vowing not to set foot in SA following sporadic attacks mid-year.
“I have not set foot in SA (South Africa) since 2017. And I will not ever go to South Africa again for any reason until the South African government wakes up and really performs a miracle, because I don’t know how they can even possibly fix this,” he wrote on Twitter in September.
Proceeds from the concert were to be donated to victims of xenophobic attacks.