Nicki Minaj performed at a concert for the Angolan dictator, despite pleas from human rights activists to cancel the event.
Minaj, a 33-year-old rapper, was performing in Angola’s capital city, Luanda, at a Christmas party for the Unitel communications firm — a company partly owned by the family of the country’s president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, according to Daily Mail. Dos Santos, 73, has long been accused of overseeing corruption and intimidation throughout Angola, which suffers from endemic poverty.
Minaj, who was reportedly paid $2 million for the performance, shared several photos and posts prior to and after the concert, thanking attendees and expressing her excitement for the opportunity.
“Nicki Minaj is following in the footsteps of Mariah Carey, callously taking money from a dictator ... who has effectively and ruthlessly choked free expression,” Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights spokesperson Jeffrey Smith said, according to Daily Mail.
“This sustained crackdown on basic human rights in Angola has swept up activists, opposition members, journalists and even musicians,” he said.
Criticism for Minaj was similar to the criticism aimed at Mariah Carey in 2013 for her performance at the same event.
“Nicki Minaj is a global artist,” Human Rights Foundation President Thor Halvorssen said, reported Daily Mail. “There is no good reason for her to do business with the corrupt Angolan dictatorship and endorse the ruler's family company.”