THE unrest in Eswatini has left dozens dead, hundreds injured and many people homeless over the last few months.

And now organisations such as Swaziland Solidarity Network have expressed disappointment with Mzansi artists who have accepted bookings in the country.

Afro-pop group Mafikizolo and Sjava have all been called to boycott the upcoming Standard Bank Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival in Eswatini.

This after Mafikizolo accepted an invitation to perform at the event this weekend.

The network’s spokesman Lucky Lukhele told Daily Sun they were disappointed that after numerous requests to South African artists, Mafikizolo had decided to accept the booking.

“Our request to South African artists is not new, year in and year out we always appeal to South African artists to stand in solidarity with us and not accept bookings from Swaziland. A number of South African artists, including Ringo Madlingozi, have previously cancelled Swaziland gigs. We understand this is a difficult request but they understand our plight,” said Lukhele.

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“I am even more disappointed by Mafikizolo, because at some point they boycotted Swaziland and cancelled a gig. I am not sure what changed their minds. If they decide to attend this festival, we will do nothing, at the end of the day they owe us nothing. But we shall continue asking other South African artists to boycott Swaziland,” he said.

Ringo confirmed he no longer performed in the country.

“Some years ago I voluntarily boycotted Eswatini, mainly because of the genocide and violation of human rights in that country. The money was good and tempting but I thought of the role of arts in politics. As a South African artist I can easily relate to Swaziland citizens and so I understand the power of boycotting a country.”

Mafikizolo’s Theo Kgosinkwe said: “I can confirm that we’ll be performing in Eswatini. We are not aware of the unrest there and we are unaware of the Swaziland Solidarity Network’s plea.”

Early this month, Eswatini citizens warned rap artist Sjava to attend the event at his own risk. At the time, Sjava had told Daily Sun he was already in studio doing rehearsals for his performance.