Tiken Jah Fakoly received the Freemuse Award on stage at the Festival of World Cultures in Dublin, Ireland, on 23 August 2008.
“We have to continue questioning corruption and poverty in Africa,” he told Freemuse in an interview in connection with the event.
As Tiken Jah Fakoly and his magnetic band played in front of thousands of people, the sun finally burst out over the otherwise rainy festival. Marie Korpe, Freemuse’s executive director, handed over the award on stage, and the audience applauded enthusiastically in recognition of Tiken Jah Fakoly as a significant spokesman for the oppressed.
The voice of the voiceless “Artists are really ‘the voice of the voiceless’”, Tiken Jah Fakoly told Freemuse officer Ole Reitov in an interview before the concert.
“I think this award is different compared to all other awards I got before. Something special because it concerns the freedom of expression. And my music is music to fight for the people. I think Freemuse has not given me this award because I sell a lot of album. It is because of my fight. And I am very happy, because that means that it is not only in West Africa that people will know what I am doing. You know, it is a project for me. And I am very happy to be the first artist who get this award,” said Tiken Jah Fakoly. On stage in Ireland, he told the audience: “This is for you too, because I am nothing without you!”