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Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s On The Run II tour draws inspiration from the classic Senegalese film of two young lovers on the run, Touki Bouki.

And as noted by Quartz Africa columnist Lynsey Chutel, it’s “hardly the first time the superstar couple have looked to Africa for their aesthetic. And yet, The Carters have never honored African fans with a live performance.”Even Beyonce’ s 2016 visual album Lemonade drew heavily on an African aesthetic, from the voluminous, antebellum-styled dress in an intentionally ironic Ankara print to the collaboration in “Afromysterics” with Nigerian contemporary artist Laolu Senbanjo.

Somali-British poet Warsan Shire’s words were threaded through the visual album,“ Chutel writes in a piece titled: “Jay-Z and Beyoncé may be inspired by Africa, but they won’t perform here.”She adds: “For her 2017 Grammy Awards performance, Beyoncé called on the Yoruba goddess Oshun in her styling. Before that, for 2011’s “Run The World (Girls),” Beyoncé flew Pantsula dancers from Mozambique to teach her their moves, and featured them in the hit single’s video.”

“The On The Run II tour schedule lists no African cities. Neither did the first “On The Run” tour, nor Beyoncé’s solo shows “The Formation World Tour” and “The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.” For all their allusions to touring the world, the Formation tour went as far as western Europe, while the Mrs. Carter Show travelled to South America and Australia.”

“The last time Beyoncé performed in South Africa was part of a charity concert for late former president Nelson Mandela’s 46664 foundation in 2004—back when she was still a member of Destiny’s Child and just months after releasing her 2003 debut Dangerously in Love. Jay-Z toured South Africa in 2006, with Rihanna as his opener.”

When considering adding a city to their tour schedule, artists have to factor the costs of getting there and doing business in that local economy, says Ray Waddell, president for media and conferences with the Oak View Group and a former veteran live entertainment reporter.

“Artists of the highest stature only have a limited amount of available dates and weigh markets based on how they serve their overall strategy in a specific cycle,” said Waddell. “Routing, album cycle, sponsor goals, and stature in a given market all play a role in which dates and cities are prioritized.”

According to the report, “in the more than 10 years since their last African appearances, the couple’s star power has grown, but so has Africa’s entertainment budget and infrastructure.”

“What’s more, fans from around southern Africa have been willing to travel to Johannesburg and Cape Town to see their favorites. If African members of the BeyHive have already saved up for Coachella tickets or bought concert packages to London to see Beyoncé live, more would be willing to fork out for the fuel or short flight to Johannesburg.”

“Creatively, the Carters continue to take inspiration from the continent, but have yet to bring the results of that inspiration to Africa.”


Head over to Quartz Africa to read the full report.