President Koroma crowns La J, Kao as peace ambassadors
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has last Thursday 12th April 2012 crowned hip-pop rivals as peace ambassadors of Sierra Leone at a meeting held at State House, Freetown.
Sparking representative of The Best Squad (TBS), Red Flag Movement (RFM) and the Black Leo, President Koroma recalled that the war was declared over in 2002 in Sierra Leone, by former president Dr. Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah therefore every citizen has to uphold the peace.
He declared the moment of striking peace between resourceful youth groups including the TBS, which has been in conflict for well over two decades, as a big day for Sierra Leone and its coming generations adding that; “Black Leo, RFM and the TBS are now peace ambassadors of the country.
The TBS brothers have been in division for more than 20 yrs. So, we are happy that they are now in peace. You should all have a peace of mind and try to work as one.
President Koroma encouraged the talents to be engaged in productive activities that can promote themselves and the country in the international entertainment scenes, and added; “I will continue to monitor your activities from now henceforth so as to ensure that the music industry in Sierra Leone continue to be productive”.
Black Leo and RFM, President Koroma maintained, should be able to positively influence the young generation of the country rather than taking part in unproductive deeds that have the tendency of tarnishing their reputations.
“We are very proud of you because you are great ambassadors of peace, and Sierra Leone is very proud of you and I am encouraged because you are now committed to peace. I want to see the two of you riding in the same car in the streets of Freetown and in other parts of the country”, he said.
The Head of State acknowledged that most of the problems that are faced by the two artists are being caused by their fans and not themselves thus admonished Kao and La J that they are now charged with the task of promoting the peace between themselves through the exchange of phone calls and visits in order to cement the peace by doing things jointly.
President Koroma suggested to the two stars to stage a peace show in honour of this year’s Sierra Leone 51st Independent anniversary, to send bright signals to their wider fan bases in the country that there is no more animosity between Black Leo and RFM.
“You in the music industry can help provide jobs for so many people. So, let it be down in the history that the Sierra Leone music industry was transformed during the time of Kao and La J”, said President Koroma.
Earlier, La J thanked President Koroma for his relentless efforts in moving the country forward and in providing a favourable atmosphere for artists to produce music in Sierra Leone and for striking compromise between Kao and him.
“We are doing our music to inspire the coming generation of our country. Before the coming of RFM and Black Leo, there have always been colours like the green, white, and blue but wherever violence occurred anywhere in the country among music fans people linked it with the names of Kao and La J which are not of our making”, he said.
He said while in the United States, it is difficult to find President Barack Obama in the midst of Sierra Leonean musicians hence, praised President Koroma for making his presence always felt among them, particularly at the recent disc jockey show that was hosted at the Brima Attuga Mini Stadium, east of Freetown.
“We have never had a Head of State like President Koroma. He informed President Koroma about the adversities that artists are going through in the music industry saying that he is tired of being linked with violence therefore vowed to maintain the peace that has been broker between him and his brother Kao. I want to assure you Mr. President Sir, that we will now continue to be your helpers in securing the country”, pledged La J.
As for Black Leo, Kao said that artists are so proud of President Koroma’s leadership under which they can now proudly boast of Sierra Leone in another countries and; “I have given up myself to serve as an ambassador of peace for my country and I and La will never engage in an argument that will tear us apart and I am willing to do a concert with La.”
Policy analyst assigned to the Ministry of Youth and Sports from the Strategy and Policy Unit under the Office of Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Dylan Sogie Thomas explained that the entire process of bringing the three groups together were directed and supervised by Dr. Keifala Marah, who held series of meetings with the various groups.
It has been very difficult for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to settle the long standing disputes between LaJ and Kao but the office of the Chief of Staff find it so miraculous to broker a peace between one time rivals in the music industry by citing demise of falling American hip-pop superstars’ lessons to them and made it clear that death penalty is still in the law books.
Mr. Thomas said that the friendship between La J and Kao has to be developed, which is where the SPU operating under the Office of Chief comes in.
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