It’s nothing new for Die Antwoord to be controversial, but this time it may well land the musical duo in big trouble.
Their 2016 album cover, Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid, was re-shared on social media last week as part of promoting an upcoming Die Antwoord show. Artist Ntsiki Mazwai picked up on the imagery and voiced her concerns on Twitter with the following tweets:
This artwork by Die Antwoord makes me uncomfortable. I feel disrespected and violated as a Xhosa person. I feel like charges should be laid pic.twitter.com/oJYOKiyhca
— #Abanandaba (@ntsikimazwai) June 26, 2017
— #Abanandaba (@ntsikimazwai) June 27, 2017
Here’s the thing: this is a prime example of cultural appropriation. On the album cover, Ninja is wearing a traditional Xhosa attire that young Xhosa men wear during their sacred circumcision ceremonies. It’s an age-old cultural tradition and here, it’s been taken way out of context. (Not to mention being used to sell records and show tickets… not cool!)
Mazwai expressed her discomfort about the art and has asked that the Human Right’s Commission address Die Antwoord for exploiting Xhosa culture, which could lead to a further investigation.
What do you think – did Ninja and Yolandi Visser take it too far? Tweet us your thoughts at @CosmopolitanSA, now.