Sierra Leone: Musician allegedly censored due to political song

7 September 2016

emmerson bockarie sierra leone
Popular musician Emmerson Bockarie claims the government has banned him from playing a concert in Sierra Leone capital Freetown and a radio DJ has said that his station manager told him to not play the artist’s latest hit ‘Munku Boss Pan Matches’ (‘A Kid in a Candy Store’), a 15-minute song that criticises the government over such things as vast unemployment and millions of dollars in missing funds from the Ebola response, reported Al Jazeera on 16 July 2016.

When the song was released in April 2016, advertising billboards in Freetown for mobile company Airtel, featuring Emmerson’s face and those of three other artists,were vandalised. However, only Emmerson’s face was either cut out or covered by graffiti, reported BBC on 13 May 2016.

In Al Jazeera’s report deputy minister of communications Cornelius Deveaux said the government “cannot in any way muzzle the freedom of expression of its citizens”.

Days after the Al Jazeera report, government spokeswoman Agibu Jalloh said the new story was fabricated and that journalist Nina Devries is now wanted for “disseminating false information”, reported Africa Review on 22 July 2016.

Photo: Emmerson Bockarie Twitter page


» Africa Review – 22 July 2016:
Sierra Leone declares Al Jazeera journalist wanted

» Al Jazeera English (YouTube Channel) – 16 July 2016:
Sierra Leone musician accuses government of censorship

» Daily Maverick – 2 June 2016:
Sierra Leone: Music in the time of Ebola

» BBC – 13 May 2016:
Sierra Leone anti-corruption singer’s billboards attacked

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