Celebrities CULTURE PEOPLE & PLACES THE DIASPORA Travel WORLD

Nigerian senator invites Kanye West to visit historical slave trade sites in Africa

Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, invited Kanye West to visit historical slave ports and trading routes in Africa, to be educated on the history of slave trade, according to an article by CNN.

This dig comes after Kanye returned to the spotlight while coming under criticism for a series of interviews. In an interview Kanye had with TMZ in which he said that slavery was a choice.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. […] You was there for 400 years and it was all of y’all? You know like, it’s like we were mentally imprisoned,” said Kanye.

In the same interview he also admitted to having mental health problems and struggling with addiction to pain-killers.

“Two days before I was in the hospital, I was on opioids. I was addicted to opioids. I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y’all. I had liposuction because I didn’t want y’all to call me fat,” Kanye shouted to everyone at TMZ.

Since then Kanye has been facing a lot of criticism. Last Thursday, a radio station in Detroit recently announced that it would stop playing Kanye’s music.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer for the Atlantic and author of Between the World and Me, wrote an article earlier this May entitled “I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye: Kanye West wants freedom-white freedom.” In the article he compares Kanye’s behavior of late to Michael Jackson’s rumored skin-bleaching, as an indicator of them despising their own blackness and this having a negative impact on their fans.

Shehu Sani called out Kanye in a tweet, claiming that Kanye’s comment was an insult to the victims of the slave trade.

“If Kanye West thinks slavery was a choice, we will offer him a free ticket and tour guide to visit slave routes and camps in Badagry, Lagos, Ouida, Benin Republic, Ghana and Goree Island in Senegal to ‘experience the choices in chains.’ Kanye defecated on the graves of victims,” Shehu said in a tweet.

Sani is not only a legislator, but is also an author, playwright, and human rights activist. He is very vocal on a number of issues and was a big advocate for democracy in Nigeria during military reigimes. Because of this, he was imprisoned several times. He was released from a life-sentence when democracy was restored in the nation in 1999, and he is now the current president of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria.

Sani is referring to the remnants left behind of the transatlantic slave trade. Some of the popular ones to visit are the “La Maison des Esclaves” (The House of Slaves), a building where slaves were held before being transported out of Senegal and the Badagry slave route, both of which tourists can visit.

A ship carrying slaves that sunk over 220 years ago was found off the coast of South Africa in 2010. South Africa provided many artifacts on loan from the ship, called the São José to the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in July of last year. These artifacts when studied provided a lot insight to the tragic and angering history.

After coming under fire for his comments in the interview, Kanye claimed in another tweet.

“[T]o make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will. My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved,” West said in a tweet.

The singer also claimed he was being attacked for “presenting new ideas.”

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

You may also like