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Singer apologises for inflammatory remarks about Muslims in new song Arewa, saying they were ‘not a religion that is known for crime’
Singer Davido said on Friday he would donate $600,000 (£482,000) to charity after an online appeal urged his fans to donate $500,000 to a Muslim charity after he denounced the Islamic faith in his latest song.
The Nigerian rapper apologised for inflammatory remarks about Muslims in his new song Arewa, which resurfaced on Thursday after it was first released in 2016.
The song has been performed repeatedly by fans around the world since it was first released in 2016.
The 29-year-old star said he made the donation to The Muhammad Aid Association, a charity run by Muslim advocate Mutiu Sunmonu.
Davido’s manager Okey Ibeanusi said on Twitter that the singer had sent a text message to Sunmonu: “I’m sending you a gift of $500,000, you can start planning from where you left off. You are a man of God and this is a record to uphold. I am also going to give you an additional $100,000 to add to the initial amount.”
Davido (@Davido) I just sent a text message to Mutiu Sunmonu on behalf of me. I am sending you a gift of $500,000, you can start planning from where you left off. You are a man of God and this is a record to uphold. I am also going to give you an additional $100,000 to add to the initial amount. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/PEC46HLnKr
The lyrics of the song have been interpreted as criticising some African Muslims for extremism and advocating the integration of Muslims into the wider society.
“I know your nature can be different. You can be fine and then flip out. So when you start saying you’re from the north, you’re asking for trouble,” says the controversial lyrics of the song, released in June 2016.
Davido said he regretted those comments.
“I shouldn’t have said things like that. I’m just focusing on moving forward and making positive change and I’m not worried about what others are saying because I’m passionate about trying to make a difference.”
“I’m not comparing anybody. I’m not comparing anyone. My thoughts are not directed against anybody,” he added.
Davido’s manager’s tweet on Thursday coincided with Nigeria’s Holy Month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset.
Davido, whose real name is Adekunle Gold, has seen his popularity grow since he was discovered by Nigerian rapper Tekno.
The singer released two gold-selling albums in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, his single Iya look at me topped Nigerian airplay charts, while his single Patience sold over 20m copies on iTunes in Nigeria and his album ME broke the record for most million-sellers in Africa.
His latest album, Revelation Part 2, has been nominated for three awards at the forthcoming Nigeria music awards, scheduled to take place on 2 May.