ActionAid Sierra Leone and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) have held a round-table meeting with Artists on the role of the entertainment industry in good governance. The meeting which was attended by several renowned artists from Freetown and the provinces, was held at the Hill valley Hotel on Thursday 13th December 2018.
Welcoming Artists and guests to the meeting, the Communications Manager of ActionAid, Mr Jonathan Bundu, threw light on how artists can use their art for national development and urged them to be more relevant in governance, adding that artists should always remain peaceful and contribute meaningfully to national development.
A representative from OSIWA stated that, elections have come and gone and its time for the artists to promote the interest of the country. He also commended the artists for playing an important role in the just concluded elections.
Andrew Lavalie, Executive Director, Institute of Governance Reform, spoke about the role of artists in shifting the focus of the entertainment industry towards contributing to national development, and refraining from promoting tribalism. He urged them to tackle the issues and not the persons.
A representative from the National Commission for Democracy (NCD), said in his statement that voting has ended and all hands should be on deck to move the country forward, adding that Artists should confront the issues without being confrontational.
Given the role played by the entertainment industry during the March 2018 elections, different artists were given the opportunity to speak on the successes and challenges.
Popular comedian kindo Armani said their messages were well delivered and that helped to change perspectives, adding that people respected the voice of the artists and therefore acted accordingly and in line with what they were saying.
Popular Musician, Wahid, representing REEL 2 REAL, said the Vote Salone Campaign Project contributed a lot in changing the mindset of sierra Leoneans during the election period.
Representing female artists, Fantasy Wiz, a female musician, said the involvement of female artists in the Vote Salone Campaign Project helped them to be able to relate to female voters, which helped in changing the narrative and encouraged many women to get involved in governance by taking up or vying for positions such as Mayors, Chairpersons etc
The president of Artists for Peace, Cee Jay Mark, thanked ActionAid and OSIWA for their tremendous support in helping the entertainment industry promote peace and national development and promised that they will continue to work towards a better Sierra Leone through music and other various arts.