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August 13, 2022



Two brothers of Radek Banga object to his remarks about Roma in Czech media interview and his portrayal of their family in his book

23.4.2021 6:51
Patrik Banga (left) and Gyulla Banga (right) (2021). (PHOTO:
Patrik Banga (left) and Gyulla Banga (right) (2021). (PHOTO:

Romani social media users in the Czech Republic are continuing to sharply criticize the recent remarks made by the singer and Romani community member Radek Banga, who has spoken about Romani parents exploiting their children and using them merely as income sources while promoting his book and new CD. Two of his brothers, Gyulla Banga and Patrik Banga, have now responded to his remarks on a live social media broadcast. 

"For the last three days we have been deciding whether to comment on Radek's activities at all, even though he has depicted our family in his book as a band of brawlers and drunks. After what he said in the DVTV interview, we have heard and seen many reactions, videos, commentaries and absolutely absurd theories about our parents institutionalizing Radek or throwing our sister out, etc.," Patrik Banga said to news server about why the brothers have decided to broadcast their own statement on social media.

"Many people have not hesitated to coarsely insult our mother, who unfortunately is no longer able to defend herself, and others have not hesitated to write to us with the worst abuse and threats. We considered it correct to explain things, to correct the record, and to clear the name of our family, all of whom have been very affected by this situation," said Patrik Banga, who has pointed out in the video broadcast that Radek has managed to do something that nobody else has since the Velvet Revolution of 1989:  "He has united all the Roma." 

Speaking in the video, brother Gyulla Banga said: "We disagree with our brother's remarks and our entire family distances themselves from him." Both Gyulla and Patrik emphatically object to what Radek Banga has alleged about their family in his book.  

"Many of the things he describes in his book are things that the two of us do not recall at all and that are not true," Gyulla Banga said in the video. Patrik Banga then added his perspective:  "What Radek is using in his book is a standard manipulation technique, where we take an element that is real, something that happened, and add a lot of stuff to it that never happened - and now we have to listen to vulgar abuse of our Mom."

In their video broadcast, both brothers have called on Romani social media users to express their opinions using respectable language. Radek Banga unleashed the stormy debate among Romani people on social media after presenting his new book, (Ne)pošli to dál, or ("Don't) Pass It On". 

In the book, Radek Banga describes his childhood and the conditions in which he and his siblings had to live, as his remembers them. He then told the Czech media that some Romani people "abuse" the welfare benefits system. 

"Frequently, in Romani families, there are parents who exploit their children and just make use of them as an income source. I know many Romani people will be angry about my saying this, and I know it's not the case for every family. However, I have seen it many times, and I'm telling you that in many families their children are just hostages from a young age. There are parents who, instead of setting up a functioning order, set the rules so that their own survival is what is served. These are often parents in Romani families who are interested above all in welfare benefits from the state or are directly interested in their children's money," Radek Banga's book claims.

In his interview for DVTV, Radek Banga then expanded on his claims and alleged that "30 %" of Romani families exploit their children as income sources. "I daresay that 30 % of Romani families are exploiting their own children as a survival strategy and raising them to be their hostages from an early age. It's not the children we're fighting against, we're fighting against the parents. The education of Romani children has to be a priority for their own parents," Radek Banga told DVTV.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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