UK gov’t accused of disproportionately denying visas to Afrobeats artists

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UK gov’t accused of disproportionately denying visas to Afrobeats artists

British immigration authorities are being accused of denying a good number of Afrobeats artists visas to enter the country. According to reports, British authorities have denied dozens of Afrobeats stars visas that would allow them entry to the European country to perform.

The British Home Office has in the past denied visas to artists like Lil Wayne and Chris Brown in the past, but these were mainly based on their criminal records. However, the new report suggests that the British Home Office does not have a justified reason for denying the large trove of Afrobeats artist’s visas.

Afrobeats has been recognized as the world’s newest and fastest-growing genre emanating from Africa. The genre has received considerable attention after being recognized by the Grammys and Billboard in the last two years thanks to the popularity of artists like Burna Boy, Tems, Davido, Stonebwoy, Fuse ODG, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Rema, Asake and Shatta Wale, to name a few.

However, The Voice described the Home Office’s visa denial as “hostile” after 20 artists were blocked from entering the country to perform at Afrobeats events. A few artists who were granted visas were unable to travel with their entourage and dancers because they were treated with “suspicion” and were denied visas, the article said.

One musician, Nii Funny, quoted in the article, said many artists who have been denied are embarrassed to speak about it because of the stigma attached to visa refusals. In the article, Three-time Grammy-nominated artist Rocky Dawuni called for the easing of regulations against Afrobeats artists who can prove they are successful and established.

“They are coming to the UK to play, I think there should be a fast track of helping these artists to be able to come and do what they do.”

These artists are not the only ones who have complained about issues with UK immigration. Last year, Jamaica deejay, Popcaan claimed that he was flagged by British authorities when he landed in the country and he would be detained for hours before he can fly to Ghana where he owns a home. The artist later alleged that a bogus criminal complaint was lodged against his name, which authorities in the UK have acted on, although he seemed to land blame mainly on the government of Jamaica rather than the UK.