Bantu performs at anniversary of Cologne anti-racism manifesto

Ade Bantu [Photo: iwantairplay.com]

The concert was meant to help kick-out racism in Germany.

Nigerian-German born producer, Afro singer, and activist, Ade Bantu; and his brother, Abiodun; on Monday, set the stage on fire during the 20th anniversary celebration of the Cologne Manifesto, ‘Get off Your Ass! Speak Up!’ Concert, held on the banks of the River Rhein in Cologne, Germany.

Bantu performed their hits,” African Boarder “& “No More No Vernacular” at the festival.

The open air concert, which attracted over 100 thousand supporters and millions of TV viewers around the world, saw the Nigerian band perform alongside popular groups like German rock band, BAP; Turkish Ska punk band, Athena; and Cologne folk pop band, Hohner.

The ‘’Get Off Your Ass! Speak Up!” movement began in November 9, 1992, when musicians and artists from Cologne, Germany, reacted to the horrific news of racist attacks and murders all over Germany with a spontaneous open air concert at Choldwigplatz. Over 100 thousand people joined in the protest back then.

Racism has re-surfaced as a major topic in Europe especially in football circles where the likes of Mikel Obi, Anton Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and many other players have been subjected to one form of abuse or the other in the English Premier League.

In a post on their Tumblr account, the artiste said, “Thank you Cologne. Seeing 70,000 people gather at an open air concert (in winter!! ) to renew their pledge to fight racism gave me hope. For those of you who missed out- this one’s for you. “African Border” & “No More No Vernacular” LIVE- if you like….”

No strangers to anti-racism activities themselves, Ade Bantu and Abiodun set up ‘Brothers Keepers’, an anti-racism initiative that has worked with several school projects and concerts across Germany since 2001.

In 2007, Bantu was awarded the Nordrhein Westphalia Cultural Prize in 1997 for the Hip-Hop musical “Coloured Children” a piece he wrote and co-directed with Anita Berger. He has also been at the forefront of the debate against the use of the N-word in Germany.

He initiated a petition (with Brothers Keepers) against German Rapper B-Tight’s album “Neger, Neger” (Nigger, Nigger) in 2007.

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