Malian-French Singer, Aya Nakamura Faces Racist Attack

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The organising committee of the Paris Olympics said it was shocked by the “racist” attacks made by far-right French groups against Malian-French singer Aya Nakamura.

The attacks were triggered by reports that Nakamura, 28, would perform a song by the legendary 20th-century French singer Édith Piaf at the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics in July.

On Sunday, the far-right group Les Natifs protested in Paris with a banner saying: “There’s no way Aya, this is Paris, not the Bamako market”, referring to the capital of Mali, where Nakamura was born.

She migrated to France with her family as a child and received French citizenship in 2021.

The music star was also booed by supporters of the far-right Reconquest party during a rally held on Sunday.

“We have been very shocked by the racist attacks against Aya Nakamura in recent days. [We offer our] total support to the most listened-to French artist in the world,” the Paris Olympics organising committee said on Monday.

Several fans and French leaders, including French MP Antoine Leaument and Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera, have supported Nakamura.

Les Natifs has continued to double down, saying Nakamura does not represent French culture and her performance would signal the “Africanization” of French culture.

Nakamura is one of the biggest musicians in France, and some reports name her as the most listened-to French-singing musician in the world.