A performance with one of Sierra Leone’s most popular artists, K-Man, was stopped. As a supporter of the ruling party, he finds himself caught in an on-going debate in the country as to whether it should be forbidden for musicians to be politically active in campaign rallies
Presently most musicians in Sierra Leone have become fully aware of this hostile stand against them performing at any political rallies – whether it be in connection with the current ruling party or any of the opposition parties.
In West Africa as a whole, popular musicians are in high demand when it comes to campaigns during election times.
Opposition parties, however, see it as a “dangerous game” when popular musicians engage themselves in the election and perform in connection with campaign rallies organised by a governing party.
Others believe that it would be hard for musicians to stop such practice since the success of most rallies and gatherings depends on the musicians. And the musicians themselves see such gatherings as a way of promoting their music and albums, using their media to express themselves freely.
Uproar over K-Man
Famous musical artist, K-Man, also known as Bingo-Man, was reportedly spotted on Christmas Day with his musical set amidst an organised campaign rally for the ruling SLPP party at Kalangba in the Bombali District. This was disclosed during a PMDC-hour programme, aired on the 95.1 FM Station in Makeni on 26 December 2006 by senior supporters of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), Abdul Sanna Sanko and Mohamed Bangura of the Canada Branch.
According to the PMDC strongmen, they were at Kalangba to celebrate Christmas with their supporters but were surprised to see popular musical star, K Man, moving in SLPP circles with his musical set. According to many people is not right for K-Man to allow himself to be used by the ruling SLPP party at a time when political campaigning is sanctioned by the National Electoral Commission, NEC.
Mohamed Bangura therefore called on K-Man to desist from being misused by some politicians which, according to Bangura, is not in his interest, adding that though he has the right to vote or to even campaign for any political party, he should wait until the final whistle is blown by the National Electoral Commission, which is the only body entrusted with the mandate to do so.
The information in this article is based on an article by John Mansaray, and updated for Freemuse by John Sahr Sahid
Awareness Times – 11 January 2007: