British billionaire, Sir Richard Branson, has apologised after posting a photo on Twitter to launch his entrepreneurship centre in South Africa which 'clearly lacked diversity'.
Sir Richard Branson apologises after posting photo from launch event in South Africa that only included white people
Soon we'll have to hire pox to stand in for family photos, lest we be accused of inflammatory whiteness.Richard Branson is criticised over non-diverse photo in South Africa
'Where did you find so many white people in South Africa?' Sir Richard Branson apologises after posing for photo that 'clearly lacked diversity' at launch of entrepreneurship centre
Sir Richard Branson, 69, apologised for posting a photo of an all white group of attendees at his entrepreneurship centre launch in South Africa
Of the 58 million people in the country, 80 per cent identify as black African
A Twitter user asked: 'Where did you find so many white people in South Africa?'
Published: 11:11 EST, 12 November 2019 | Updated: 12:18 EST, 12 November 2019
Sir Richard Branson has apologised after he posted a photo to launch his entrepreneurship centre in South Africa which 'clearly lacked diversity'.
Thula Sindi, a South African fashion designer, asked the multi-billionaire on Twitter: 'Where did you find so many white people in South Africa?'
The designer, whose dresses have been worn by South African politicians, added that it must have 'Really taken an honest effort [to] exclude the majority of the population which is just as skilled and talented'.
The image posted yesterday (top) shows an all white group of entrepreneurs standing around the multi-billionaire. Sir Richard quickly drew criticism from Twitter users who said the image failed to show the diversity of the country. Fashion designer Thula Sindi asked where Sir Richard found 'so many white people in South Africa' (bottom)
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson poses for a photograph during an announcement at Pitt Street Mall in Sydney on Tuesday. Sir Richard apologised yesterday for posting a photo on Twitter that failed to acknowledge the diversity of South Africa at his entrepreneurship centre
Sir Richard, who was 69 in July, was quick to apologise, admitting that the image failed to illustrate the different ethnicities involved at the centre.
He also directed followers to his blog, which he said did a better job to showcase diversity than the tweet.
The controversial image was accompanied by Sir Richard tweeting: 'Wonderful to be in South Africa to help launch the new Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. We aim to become the heart of entrepreneurship for Southern Africa.'
Sir Richard soon apologised for the choice of photo which he said 'clearly lacked diversity'
One Twitter user, Sicelo Nkosi, rebuffed Sir Richard's critics, saying that the majority of images show a diverse mix of ethnicities at the entrepreneurship centre.
'Race advocates, I'm on your side but think you got this one wrong', Nkosi said.
'Please open the link before you comment. This is one of many pictures, most of which are diverse.'
A spokesperson for Virgin said: 'The tweet linked to a blog about the launch of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa, which assists aspiring entrepreneurs of all backgrounds with the skills, opportunities and inspiration they need to succeed.
'We apologise for the poorly chosen image, but would like to emphasise that this does not reflect the diverse make-up of attendees.
Some users jumped to Sir Richard's defence. Sicelo Nkosi (top) asked people to click on the link to see the diverse group of people present at the entrepreneurship event. The images on Sir Richard's blog (bottom) were far more inclusive
Virgin Atlantic president Richard Branson exits from an Airbus A330, celebrating the airlines inaugural flight to Vancouver, Canada. Thursday 24 May, 2012. Sir Richard founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s, which now controls more than 400 companies across the globe. His estimated worth is $4 billion
'As the video, other social posts and other images of the event show, many of the diverse group of Branson Centre entrepreneurs, trustees and team were present and the image attached to that particular tweet should have reflected this too.'
South Africa's population is 80 per cent black African with just 7.8 per cent Caucasian. 8.8 per cent of South Africans are mixed race and 2.5 per cent Indian or Asian.
Sir Richard founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s, which now controls more than 400 companies across the globe. His estimated worth is $4 billion.