In 1981, after moving to Moscow and meeting Sergey Kuryokhin, Bugaev joined the first Krazy Muzik Orchestra («Крези мюзик оркестра»), which later developed into the legendary Popular Mechanics band. At one of the performances, Afrika met Timur Novikov and next year he joined a newly-established art group New Painters («Новые художники»). Bugaev participated in their exhibition in 1983.
Since the late 2000s, Afrika has been actively and vocally supporting official Russian government, Vladimir Putin and ruling United Russia party, much to the disdain of many musicians and artists who used to work with him in the past. In 2013, Artemy Troitsky accused Bugaev in blackmailing and assaulting a famous queer artist and performer Vlad Mamyshev-Monroe. Supposedly, Sergey tried to scare Vladislav into making a vulgar, pornographic photo session to disgrace Alexey Navalny, Boris Akunin and other notable Russian political oppositionists. Troitsky published a lengthy article discussing this affair after Mamyshev-Monroe passed away, with e-mail correspondence and independent journalists confirming his allegations.
A group of artists, including Evgeny Kozlov, Oleg Maslov, Inal Savchenkov and Oleg Zaika, filed a lawsuit against Bugaev in August 2013, accusing him of illegal possession of 25 paintings. The works had been missing since the last New Painters exhibitions in the late 1980s, never returned to authors, but suddenly appeared at the ASSA: The Last Generation of the Leningrad Avant-Garde exhibition, organized by Sergei Bugaev in May-June 2013 at the state-owned Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.