Zakes Bantwini

Zakes Bantwini escaped backlash after performing in Israel last week.
Images via Instagram

Zakes Bantwini escapes backlash amid Israel performance

Unlike Lalela Mswane and Black Coffee, Grammy-winner Zakes Bantwini avoided backlash after performing in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Zakes Bantwini

Zakes Bantwini escaped backlash after performing in Israel last week.
Images via Instagram

Hot on the heels of his Grammys win, South African muso Zakes Bantwini shared a peak at his performance in Tel Aviv, Israel – a move which ordinarily would have been widely criticised.

However, unlike his industry colleagues DJ Black Coffee and former Miss SA Lalela Mswane, the KwaZulu-Natal-born hitmaker avoided backlash of visiting the country referred to as an “Apartheid” state by Pro-Palestine and human rights activists.

But did it have something to do with his vague location tags?

ALSO READ: ‘Africa to the world’: Inside Zakes Bantwini’s Israel trip [watch]


In recent days, Zakes has shared a glimpse of his performance at the Desert Weekend music festival, held in the Israeli state of Chan Hashayarot.

However, the muso tagged the location on his Instagram as the “Middle East.” He also added a camel emoji to his posts.

ALSO READ: Quote of the day – Zakes Bantwini

He also added the selective words: “See you in the desert.”


Ironically, bar one comment that chastised him for performing in an “Apartheid” state, Zakes Bantwini’s fans and followers gave his Israel gig the thumbs up.

Zakes’s experience has differed from other artists who also chose to visit the country.

ALSO READ: Grammy winner Zakes Bantwini gets a hero’s welcome [watch]

In 2021, former Miss SA Lalela Mswane was put under pressure to withdraw from the Miss Universe pageant, which took place in Eilat, Israel. 

Human rights and pro-Palestinian activists argued that the beauty queen supported an “Apartheid state” by visiting Israel. Government also officially withdrew its support to Lalela, claiming the Miss SA organisation “disregarded advice” not to go ahead.

In 2018, DJ Black Coffee also caught flack for performing in Israel. The same year, model and businesswoman Shashi Naidoo received death threats for expressing her pro-Israel views on social media.

In 2022, South Africans threatened to boycott Justin Bieber’s now-canceled concert in the country after the pop singer revealed plans to perform in Tel Aviv, Israel next.

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