All eyes are on Afrika Bambaataa, famed hip hop producer, and former leader of the Zulu Nation.
Over the past month, four sexual abuse victims have come out against the 59-year-old, alleging he molested them when they were younger.
One victim, Ronald Savage, claims he was only 15 when he was abused by the Planet Rock artist in the ’80s. He told The Daily News:
“I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up. I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”
Savage hopes his speaking out will pressure New York lawmakers to reform the state’s statute of limitations in sex abuse cases, which says victims can’t pursue criminal charges or civil litigation after their 23rd birthday.
A former bodyguard Shamsideen Shariyf Ali Bey even followed up these victims’ claims in an interview with radio host Star, adding there have been “hundreds” of young boys since the ’70s.
“I can say I walked in on stuff and said, ‘What the f*ck is going on? There are things that I saw that confirmed it for me. Everyone knows these allegations go back to the early ’70s. There’s always a boy in his house. When he leaves and gets home, there’s always a boy there. I’ve seen them camped, asking him for money. He travels with late teens, those are the ones he takes overseas with him. When I went with him on tour in the states, I’d stay in one room, and he would have boys in the room with him ├óΓé¼┬ª since the ’70s, it’s been hundreds.”
And on May 6, the Universal Zulu nation made a statement announcing there would be new leadership following the allegations, despite originally slamming these claims. While they didn’t name any names, they did confirm:
“This will involve a significant restructure and will feature an in-depth re-assessment of how the organization will function to better serve our communities. As part of this restructure ALL accused parties and those accused of covering up the current allegations of child molestation have been removed and have stepped down from their current positions.”
Charles Tucker Jr., Afrika’s lawyer, said in a statement to Rolling Stone in response:
“Bambaataa has not been part of the leadership for years. At the end of day we still have unsubstantiated claims from alleged victims who all have seemed to be more focused on self promotion, sensationalism, revenge and some form of payment. There can’t be a cover-up from acts that never occurred. The real tragedy is that this has drawn attention away from real victims who are abused every day in our country. There was never a pursuit for any kind of justice in this and it stinks all the way around. The agendas of those involved are quite clear, Zulu Nation will continue to do the great work that they do and Bambaataa will continue to work tirelessly combatting all forms of violence and giving a voice to those real victims of violence in communities across the nation of who many in the media seems to have forgotten about.”
It will be interesting to see what happens at this point.
We will continue to update as more info comes out.
You can catch Bey’s revealing and in-depth interview (below):
[Image via Media Punch.]