The world-renowned musician was spotted coming out of a Santa Monica restaurant on 30 March sporting the garment which had an illustration of the Riyadha Mosque in Lamu, Kenya printed on it, as well as the word ‘Lamu.’
The t-shirt was reportedly made by Kenyan fashion designer Zeddie Loky through his own label, blkburdgenes. Images of the t-shirt can be seen on the label’s Instagram page.
A few days after Jay-Z was pictured wearing the t-shirt, the Riyadha Mosque posted a statement on its Facebook page that directly addressed Loky.
In the letter, the mosque’s management and worshippers admitted that they were “disturbed and actually feel insulted” by the t-shirt and that they “neither consider it an honour nor a privilege for the Historical Mosque and its Founder Habib Swaleh.”
They added by virtue of the t-shirt being able to be worn in “bars, clubs and at all sorts of sacrilegious joints” that it is an “affront to the spiritual respect and dignity towards all those who revere the Mosque.”
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CNN reports that Loky has since offered an apology to the mosque. He explained that only 20 of the t-shirts have been made and those wearing them have been asked not to wear them in “bars nor clubs if they happen to decide to wear it” as a sign of respect for the mosque.
Loky’s Los Angeles based brand aims to “educate people around the world about history, nature and current affairs” through its clothing.
The management of Lamu's Riyadha mosque in Kenya is disturbed after American rapper Jay Z was spotted allegedly wearing a T-shirt with its image. pic.twitter.com/U33ACfnCF3
— ZonkNews (@Zonknews20) April 4, 2021
Lamu is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and is regarded by the United Nations as one of the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa
Jay-Z is yet to respond to the criticism.