Kenyans are up in arms against the Kenya Tourist Board for enlisting a South African musical group to headline this year’s Kenya Open golf tournament that is being held this weekend.
The 2019 Kenya Open Golf Championship, which is taking place at the Karen Country Club from Thursday, March 14 to the 17th, will have South Africa’s Mafikizolo as the main act.
Magical Kenya -a taxpayer-funded corporation mandated to sell Kenya abroad- are the main sponsors of the event that is also backed by Absa (formerly Barclays Bank).
It is not clear who between Absa, which is a South African company, and Magical Kenya was responsible for arranging entertainment.
We could not reach Magical Kenya for a comment.
To be fair though, local acts Nairobi Horns, Manasseh, Kendi Nkonge, and Chris Bittok, will also be on stage.
Including Nairobi Horns, Manasseh, Kendi Nkonge, and Chris Bittok pic.twitter.com/NTt2U10ZCj
— 2019 Magical Kenya Open (@KenyaOpenGolf) March 13, 2019
Indeed, the event is named Magical Kenya Open. The winner of the tournament will walk away with Sh20.5 Million (Euros 183,330).
The tournament will see some of the world’s top golfers in action and local golf heroes as they battle it out for a stake of the prize money.
Kenyan artistes, led by Dan Aceda, an award-winning musician best known for his penchant for storytelling and engaging live performances, and Anto Neosoul, criticised the organisers for bringing in a foreign band.
Other Kenyans also called out Magical Kenya for not “living up to their name” and promoting local artistes.
Here are some of the reactions that Kenyans expressed after the organisers decided to bring in Mafikizolo.
But that Mafikizolo headlining a “Magical Kenya” showcasing event has to be the biggest irony of the day. Not week. Not month. This is Kenya. So yes, the day.
— Simply EMMAzing! (@Emm_Muthoni) March 13, 2019
Thank you @magicalkenya and @KenyaOpenGolf for always putting Kenya culture front and center. Congratulations to Kenyan musicians @MafikizoloSA. Looking forward to a Brilliant performance. pic.twitter.com/mpu9iD90fN
— Dan Aceda (@danaceda) March 13, 2019
@magicalkenya & @tunajibu are the biggest let down inthis country. How do U have an event about Kenya being magical & the headline acts are freaking South Africans SMH when I complain it’s not for nothing this is not right. Get @sautisol Nkt. Boycott them. pic.twitter.com/JNFRNujY0g
— JoeWMuchiri (@JoeWMuchiri1) March 13, 2019
Thank you @magicalkenya and @KenyaOpenGolf for giving us Kenyan Artistes another chance to showcase how brilliant we are on stage! I just performed for 3 hours at #antoLIVE and can’t wait to watch my fellow Kenyans @MafikizoloSA sindio @danaceda ? pic.twitter.com/bGliy4EXC2
— antoneosoul (@antoneosoul) March 13, 2019
Of course we have a magical KENYA Open with Mafikizolo headlining nothing against Mafikizolo but GTFOH !! pic.twitter.com/J6vsoL4sE2
— The Blaze Podcast on Afripods (@JinxLike) March 13, 2019
What kind of witchcraft is this @magicalkenya @PixUnited
Our own event graced by South Africans… pic.twitter.com/5SSE90L9O7
— Richuma (@evansmarube) March 13, 2019
@magicalkenya how is this even acceptable? Like @sautisol and @OfficialShinski hawangeweza ? pic.twitter.com/CDZeL57ai6
— Kenosano (@osanoTheGreat) March 13, 2019
You @magicalkenya have lost the plot already. You showcase Kenya by having South Africans perform? https://t.co/j4sCbN8Wsl
— Joy Wanyonyi (@Joy_Wanyonyi) March 13, 2019
Promoting “Magical Kenya” with Mafikizolo..
— Timwork (@rimbui) March 13, 2019
Magical Kenya thinks with such a colonial mind, Kenya is to be marketed to Kenyans as well and also why can’t we show what Kenyan talent can do
— Rice uncle (@Kenneth_nyash) March 13, 2019