Afrika Bambaataa: ‘I Never Abused Nobody’
Hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa is leaving no ambiguities about his response to allegations of child sexual abuse:
“I never abused nobody.”
In an exclusive interview with New York’s FOX 5, the 59-year-old Zulu Nation founder and front man for the ground breaking Soul Sonic Force, is continuing to balk at notions that he molested young boys who were around him in the early 80s. The first to come forward with the allegations was Ron Savage, a former New York State Democratic Committee member. In an interview with the New York Daily News last month, Savage said he was abused by Bambaataa beginning when he was 15.
Since the allegations surfaced, three others also claimed that they suffered abuse at the hands of Bambaataa, and a man claiming to have been his bodyguard named Shamsideen Shariyf Ali Bey gave an interview with internet radio host Star on Shot97.com, saying Bambaataa molested “hundreds” of boys.
But Bambaataa, born Kevin Donovan, shot back at all of his accusers in the FOX 5 interview, hinting that the timing of it all is suspect.
“I was saying like wow, why now?” said Bambaataa. “It was definitely hurting and definitely crazy to hear this now when I was doing so much other works in the community at the time.”
The allegations have spurred the Zulu Nation to remove him from his leadership role, and to bring in new chiefs and place focus on victims of abuse, the Daily News reported.
But Bambaataa maintains the accusations against him are baseless.
“Many of the people never want to speak to my other members who were of that era,” he explained. “[They’re] just going along with he say, she say…what they call gossip.”
Despite the Zulu Nation distancing itself from Bambaataa, he says he still continues to support it.
“I will always carry the banner and flag of the Universal Zulu Nation.”
Photo: Afrika Bambaataaa (r) with FOX 5 New York reporter Lisa Evers (Courtesy, FOX 5)