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Uproar in S.Africa over Bulgarian blackface video

Footage of a Bulgarian television show contestant dressed in “blackface” to imitate the singer behind a hit South African song stirred social media outrage on Friday.

The video, which spread quickly on South African social media, shows Bulgarian singer Mihaela Marinova impersonating Nomcebo Zikode, the vocalist behind the gospel-influenced anthem with Zulu lyrics that brought people together during the coronavirus lockdown.

The impersonator performed the ‘Jerusalema’ song that is composed by local producer MasterKG, on a Bulgarian television show to a delighted, roaring audience.

But South Africans were not impressed.

“This… is annoying and blatantly racist,” said one user on Twitter.

“Being Black is not a costume to put on for white people’s enjoyment,” she added in just one of hundreds of indignant reactions to flood social media.

In a separate video, Marinova is seen taking off the silicone-like mask, revealing the her own skin.

Social media users have slammed the performer and the show for its racial insensitivity.

Many expressed disgust while others called for MasterKG and Zikode, who have yet to comment on the issue, to take legal action against the show.

White performers first started painting their faces black to mock enslaved Africans in minstrel shows across the United States, which became known as blackface.