When Ronald Savage and several other men came forward and accused Afrika Bambaataa of sexually abusing them as teens, the Zulu Nation stood by the rapper and questioned the accusers’ credibility.
But as more information has surfaced, the Zulu Nation has distanced itself from Bambaataa, and now it has issued an apology to Savage and the others who have come forward.
Part of the lengthy letter reads:
On behalf of the members of the Universal Zulu Nation worldwide, who have made their voices heard through their chapter leaders, we extend our deepest and most sincere apologies to the many people who have been hurt by the actions of Afrika Bambaataa and the subsequent poor response of our organization to allegations leveled against him.
To the survivors of apparent sexual molestation by Bambaataa, both those who have come forward and others who have not, we are sorry for what you endured and extend our thanks to those who have spoken out for your bravery in bringing to light that which most of us were sadly unaware of, and others chose not to disclose.
We extend further apologies to Ronald “Bee-Stinger” Savage and Hassan “Poppy” Campbell, who were subjected to unjust and inexcusable attacks on their characters in official statements by our organization when they chose to speak their truths — we hear you, we believe you, and we stand with you. In addition, we acknowledge the negative impact of our organization’s response on survivors of sexual exploitation and assault everywhere, especially within the communities that we call home; we are to be part of the solution, not the problem, and previous statements and actions from former leaders failed to live up to this promise.
Lastly, we apologize to the members of the Universal Zulu Nation in New York City, around the United States, and all around the world for your having been silenced, poorly informed, very poorly represented, retraumatized or triggered by previous official responses, and unfairly implicated in matters that you had nothing to do with when so many of you were living by our Principles; this apology is extended also to former members who felt compelled to leave our organization on account of these failures.
The Zulu Nation also stated that it would “commit to pursuing justice and healing for survivors of alleged sexual molestation committed by Afrika Bambaataa,” and also outlined how it will educate its members and community about child molestation.
Bambaataa has denied any wrongdoing and says the accusers have been trying to ruin his legacy and reputation.