A Zulu Nation Veteran Details The Alleged Decades Of Corruption Under Afrika Bambaataa (Audio)
Following the shocking child molestation allegations surrounding Universal Zulu Nation’s founder and longtime leader Afrika Bambaataa which surfaced in March of 2016, the Hip-Hop pioneer’s fall from grace has left the organization’s leadership and infrastructure in question without many viable answers.
Recently, former high-ranking Zulu Nation member and DJ Mark Luv appeared on the Take No Prisoners Radio show to give details of what he had learned about the alleged corruption within the organization that he proudly represented for several decades. Luv is a veteran DJ who, over the course of his 33-year career, has DJ’d for artists like KRS-One and The Pharcyde, was a co-creator of the Rock The Bells festival, and currently works with Cypress Hill’s B-Real on BREAL.TV. Mark Luv talked about the power struggle between the Universal Zulu Nation and the International World Council, which oversees the Nation’s daily operations. Additionally, he gave alarming details about why the Zulu Nation’s public image and status as a symbol of peace, love, and unity has been irrevocably damaged by the scandal.
“As time went on, I became a member of the World Council. I was on the council with [Afrika] Bambaataa… and I was privy to a lot of information.” Mark Luv begins, just before 23:00 into the radio show. “One thing that really used to shock me was the level of corruption that I would encounter all the time. The shortcuts and the stuff that people would let people get away with because they were ‘old school’ or they were friends or whatever. How people would try to take advantage of people either through their ignorance of [the culture] or even because of race. Those are things that would often irk me.”
The former Zulu Nation official even alleged that several unnamed Zulu members’ attempted to run a prostitution ring from within the organization. “Yes, there were certain Zulus who were trying to start a prostitution ring under Zulu Nation. There were members who were stealing money from each other. There was a lot of corruption. And as a member of the World Council, me and a few members were doing our best to stop it. So, there was a time when I had to shut down someone who wanted to pimp the Zulu queens to people. I’m not making this up. I’m dead serious.”
Admitting that he was skeptical of the accusations at first, Luv changed his mind after the number of accusers grew. As a result of the fallout, Mark Luv left the Universal Zulu Nation. “There were not two accusations [of child molestation], there were seven accusations. Five accusations were only [known] to us, Zulu Nation never went public. Two of the accusations are so important it basically put the Zulu Nation at odds. The accusations of the other two people — of the five people — but the accusations of the other two people that I can’t name, they were so big because everybody knew them. Everybody in the Zulu Nation [knew these individuals]. Every young chapter member, every frickin’ chapter leader, Zulu kings, council members, everyone. And when he basically said that he was molested, we were like, ‘Oh my God.'”
Those two high-ranking accusations have been damning to membership. “[One person] said, ‘Yes, I was molested by Afrika Bambaataa.’ It hurt so badly after that call, and I’ll say this to anyone in Zulu Nation, at least 55% of the Nation left. They were like, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ because it was a bombshell.”
Mark Luv addressed the organizational turmoil that led to Bambaataa’s tenure as leader reportedly ending in May of 2016. “Yeah, there were some people that stayed, but many didn’t want to proclaim it anymore unless the leadership was out, which lead to the ousting of Afrika Bambaataa.”
There are still active Bambaataa supporters within the nation. “The old leadership, they still love and honor and respect and follow Bambaataa,” Mark Luv stated. “That’s not gonna change because they were around back in the ’70s and whatever. They’re used to the corruption, and they’re used to the lying, so they’re not going to change.”
Mark Luv apparently questions the organization’s principles in light of its recent conduct. “The Zulu Nation was supposed to always be about truth. That’s the one thing it was supposed to always be about. Knowledge, wisdom, over-standing, truth. Okay, this is the truth! And the funny thing is the Zulu Nation was running from the truth a lot.”
Later in the interview, Mark Luv declared why Bambaataa is unable to be officially ousted from his post at the helm of the Universal Zulu Nation. Despite what the public believed in May of last year, the DJ says it is not accurate, and why. “We happened to find out that the name ‘Universal Zulu Nation’ is owned by Afrika Bambaataa. So, even if we wanted to kick him out, we couldn’t because he owns the name. And we also found out that he had it registered as a church in 1994. Yes, the very organization that said, ‘We’re not a cult and we’re not a religion’ was put out as a church in 1994. [We] did not know that. If I had known that, I would’ve walked away from it. Especially how every time I turned around Bambaataa tried to have us involved in something that was kind of religious. And this is an ironic one. He tried to make us Nuwaubians under Dr. Malachi York, which was an ironic one considering what Malachi York was put in jail for.”
In 1967, the man born Dwight York founded Nuwaubian Nation, a religious organization that was based in New York City until the early 1990s. In April of 2004, York was convicted of child molestation and RICO counts. He was sentenced to 135 years. York’s appeal was denied. He is currently serving at ADX in Florence, Colorado.
The Universal Zulu Nation was founded in 1973 in the Bronx, New York, and is ubiquitously credited as the founding organization of Hip-Hop culture. It reportedly has membership chapters in over 70 countries.