In the past, Afrika Bambaataa has been in the news for his work with hip-hop music, and for founding the organization Zulu Nation in 1970. Most recently, he has been in the news because of sexual abuse allegations made against him.
Ronald Savage, a Bronx activist, politician, and former music industry executive, came forward in April with the accusation that he had been sexually abused by Bambaataa in 1980. At the time Savage was only 15 years old. Bambaataa’s lawyer stated that these allegations were “false” and “defamatory.” Bambaataa released a statement of his own stating that he wanted, “to personally deny any and all allegations of any type of sexual molestation of anyone.” Since the initial accusation, and the release of Bamabaataa’s statement, three more men have come forward with their own accusations of sexual abuse.
Bambaataa’s organization, Zulu Nation, initially backed Bambaataa and denied the claims made by Savage. The group called him “mentally challenged,” and made the suggestion that Daily Media was “controlled by U.S. government intelligence” and that the news company was being compromised.
The group announced, in May, a change in leadership. Along with this change in leadership, the group has released an apology to Bambaataa’s alleged victims. “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,” Zulu Nation said in a statement on May 31, reports the Daily News. The New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut organization coordinator, Zulu King El One, has been reported to have said the older leaders/Bambaataa’s friends gave an earlier statement. King El One also said, “Most of the membership would like to hear what the victims have to say.”