Yesha Callahan

Human Rights Foundation Outraged at Nicki Minaj’s Upcoming Angola Performance

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Over the last several years, the Human Rights Foundation has called out celebrities who have seemingly showed their support for countries ran by corrupt dictators, and now they have their sight set on Nicki Minaj.

Minaj is scheduled to perform in Angola on Saturday, but Thor Halvorssen, president of HRF, is pleading with her to cancel.

The country, which is ruled by president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, currently has democracy activists who questioned human rights abuses locked up without charges or a trial. The Angola 15, which includes Angolan hip-hop artist Luaty Beirao, spoke out against the Angolan government and most likely will not be let out of jail.

In an open letter to Minaj, Halvorssen writes:

During their brutal three-decade authoritarian rule, the dos Santos family has exploited Angola’s diamond and oil wealth to amass an illegitimate fortune while maintaining control over all branches of the government, the military, and civil society. Dos Santos has made it his policy to harass, imprison, or kill politicians, journalists, and activists who protest his rule. In Angola, independent media are subject to systematic legal and physical persecution. Journalists are routinely arrested, beaten, and even disappeared when covering corruption matters and exposing the dos Santos criminal enterprise. Beyond censoring through violence, the Angolan regime owns the only national radio station, controls the only daily newspaper, and exerts control over Angola’s television stations. Artists such as yourself are not allowed to freely express their opinions in Angola, where criticizing the government is a crime punishable with fines and imprisonment.


Ms. Minaj, you are well-known for being involved with charities such as the Get Schooled Foundation, which helps motivate young people to graduate from high school and succeed in college. Yet, if you move forward with this performance for the dictator and his family, you will be in league with the people stealing educational resources and opportunity from young Angolans. As a strong-willed independent artist shouldn’t you be advocating for the release of the imprisoned rapper Luaty Beirão rather than entertaining the dictator and his thieving family?

The HRF has called out other celebrities before, so Minaj isn’t any exception.

Clutchettes, do you think she should perform in Angola?

  1. December 16, 2015 - Reply

    I think that the question here is who is she performing for, the president of Angola or the citizens? Calling her out for performing for the president is okay, but she shouldn’t be judged if the performance is for the regular folks.

    • December 16, 2015 - Reply


      Good point, if the latter is the case I think she is fine. I think it is ludicrous for her not to perform in the country because their is an unjust governmental system. Because I know a place like that, and she performs there all the time……..

      • December 16, 2015 - Reply

        @i mean

        True. Plus, some people might fly to Angola to see Nicky’s concert as well. They might also be affected by the boycott.

  2. December 16, 2015 - Reply

    If Nicki Minaj performs in an independent location filled with Angolan people (for the benefit of the Angolan citizens), then I don’t have a problem with it. There is no justification for the anti-democratic policies from the Angolan government. At the same time, we should reiterate another point. Western corporations and institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, etc. has exploited and outright stolen the mineral and economic resources of Africa. There is a militarization of Africa too via Africom and other entities. Therefore, the Angolan government isn’t the only government that should end corruption. Western states of the economic North must stop their corruption too. Many puppet African leaders are following orders from the West. So, this dynamic is much more complex. Like always, we want Africa to be liberated and fully expunge itself from neoliberalism.

  3. December 17, 2015 - Reply

    Well, she bailed out a pedophile rapist (allegedly), so why not perform in Angola?

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