Mos Def’s ‘world’ of passport trouble comes to an end, to perform at Apollo

Mos Def at the Apollo in 2007 (Photo Credit: Azran Photography for the Apollo Theater)
Mos Def at the Apollo in 2007 (Photo credit: Azran Photography for the Apollo Theater)

Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, is no longer being detained in South Africa. Rolling out reporter Amir Shaw reported in January 2016, “Bey allegedly entered the Cape Town International Airport and attempted to board a plane by producing a “World Passport.” It was viewed by officials as a fake document and he was arrested. Officials claim that Bey and his wife, mother and four kids initially entered South Africa on U.S. passports and a Visa.”

The U.S.-born rapper and actor who has lived in Cape Town since 2013, will be declared an undesirable person for his actions and will not be granted re-entry to South Africa, the home affairs department said. He left South Africa on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016.

“[He] has unreservedly apologized to the government of South Africa,” the department said in a statement. “The department is satisfied with the apology [and]

will withdraw the charges against him.”

World Service Authority, set up in the United States after World War II to advocate for world citizenship, grants the passport and has done so since 1954.

WSA claims African countries such as Togo, Mauritania, Ecuador, Zambia, Tanzania have accepted the 30-page document in the past.

Mos Def has partnered with the Apollo Theater and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to present his final U.S. performances.

12/21 New York/Apollo Theater
12/31 Washington, D.C./Kennedy Center
1/1 Washington, D.C./Kennedy Center
1/2 Washington, D.C./Kennedy Center

“We are so excited to collaborate with the Kennedy Center on what will be a milestone moment in not only hip-hop history but also in popular culture. The Apollo is the epicenter of African American culture and has always been a nurturer and supporter of innovation and artistic brilliance, so it is only fitting that Yasiin Bey have his final U.S. performances here as his contributions to hip-hop, and music in general, are endless,” Apollo Theater’s executive producer Kamilah Forbes said in a statement. “We are looking forward to creating an unforgettable and celebratory evening for Mr. bey and his fans as he enters the next phase in his career.”

Following his final U.S. performances, Bey will venture to Africa to focus on his arts, culture, and lifestyle collective A Country Called Earth (ACCE). He will also continue to pursue his newly formed passions as a painter and his art, as well as that of various other ACCE artists, will be anonymously displayed at the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center.

The Yasiin Bey concerts mark the third collaboration between the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center. Past collaborations include Harlem Nights/U Street Lights starring jazz pianist Jason Moran and Apollo Music Café: New Voices in Jazz featuring Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead.

Each performance will reportedly feature “surprise special guests,” and the Kennedy Center shows will be accompanied by post-show parties in the foyer of the venue.

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