This past Sunday, Mariah Carey performed at a two-hour concert in Angola, Southern Africa, supposedly for the intent of supporting the Angolan Red Cross. Now, the Human Rights Foundation is condemning Mariah Carey for that Angola concert performance because of the presidential presence there.
The president of Angola is José Eduardo dos Santos, who, according to the BBC, is a man immensely shy of the world media. In his own home country, where government ministers own most of the newspapers, the press never disapproves of him. Those who do hold privately owned newspapers and speak their minds in the columns find themselves slammed with lawsuits. At 71 years old, dos Santos has ruled over Angola for 34 years, though he was only actually elected president in 2012.
The Human Rights Foundation accused dos Santos of being one of the “most corrupt tyrants” in Africa as well as one the number one violator of basic human rights. The Foundation also charges dos Santos in the deaths of many who have protested his presidency, including journalists and activists, as well as politicians who oppose him. This past year, public outcry in the country has grown over the frequent and violent police actions and crackdowns on Angolan society.
Dos Santos’ eldest daughter, Isabel dos Santos, hosted the event. She sponsored it via Unitel, a mobile phone company she owns as one of her many holdings. Forbes has her listed as a billionaire and the seventh richest individual in Africa. She is also the president of the Angolan Red Cross charity, the event’s beneficiary.
Photographs from the event have Carey posing and smiling with dos Santos and his family, wearing a mini-dress of red trimmed in white in the spirit of St. Nicholas and the Christmas holiday. Carey said at the concert that she was pleased to be there and honored to perform for the Angolan presidential family, though she may regret those words if she is condemned for the show. Reportedly, Carey earned more than $1 million for her performance. According to Angop, the state news agency of Angola, the concert brought in around $65,000 for the charity.
This isn’t the first time Carey’s concerts have struck a chord with more than just her fans. Five years ago, she was one of several artists including 50 Cent, Beyonce and Usher, who accepted vast amounts of money for their performances for Moammar Gadhafi and his family. Gadhafi has been internationally disparaged for his dictatorship of Libya and for his support of terrorism. Carey and the other musicians later apologized, donating the money they had received for singing to charity.
Carey, whose Christmas success recently reached a milestone in the UK when the millionth copy of her cover of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” sold this year, has yet to comment or apologize for her performance. She often speaks to groups about human rights, making this recent act a contradiction. It remains to be seen if Carey will be condemned for this Angola presidential concert by her fans as well.
By Marisa Corley