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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:05am March 13, 2024,

Paris Olympics responds to ‘racist’ attacks on Aya Nakamura after reports she’ll perform at opening ceremony

Far-rights French groups have targeted Aya Nakamura with “racist” attacks -- Photo: @ayanakamura_officiel?Instagram

Far-rights French groups have targeted popular Malian-French singer Aya Nakamura with “racist” attacks following reports that she will perform a song by a particular artist during the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics. The sporting event is set to take place in July.

According to BBC, the song is from Édith Piaf – the renowned French singer who made a name for herself in the 20th century. But the news of Nakamura, 28, performing a Piaf song was met with disdain from the far-right groups Les Natifs and Reconquest.

Les Natifs held a protest in Paris on Sunday and displayed a banner with the comments, “There’s no way Aya, this is Paris, not the Bamako market.” Born Aya Danioko in Bamako, which is the capital of the West African nation of Mali, Nakamura and her family relocated to France during her childhood. 

Reconquest party supporters similarly expressed their disapproval of Nakamura at a rally on Sunday. The Paris Olympics organising committee as well as Nakamura’s fans and other French political figures have since spoken out against the racist attacks and expressed their support for the singer.

“We have been very shocked by the racist attacks against Aya Nakamura in recent days. [We offer our] total support to the most listened-to French artist in the world,” the Paris Olympics organizing committee said on Monday, BBC reported.

Despite the condemnation, Les Natifs on Monday said Nakamura is not a representation of French culture, adding that the singer taking the stage during the opening ceremony would attest to French culture being Africanized.

Famed for her 2018 song, Djadja, which has more than 900 million views on YouTube, Nakamura became a French citizen in 2021 and is regarded as the world’s most listened-to French-speaking musician.

That song would crown her the “queen of the French urban music scene”, with her 2018 album, Nakamura, scoring seven top tens on the French singles chart, the first time a female artist has gone that far, Forbes said.

“The way she has built a name for herself in a male-dominated world is a source of inspiration for so many young girls and women,” Malian singer Oumou Sangaré said of Nakamura. “She is a shining star for countless youth, and shining stars always bother people.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 13, 2024


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