The music scene around night clubs and other entertainment spots around Freetown was a bit unsettling for me during the December 2018 holidays. To my dismay only a few entertainment spots I visited during the Christmas holidays were playing music done by Sierra Leonean artists. DJ’s attached to these night clubs were thumping away tunes from Nigeria and only once in a while, would drop the occasional Sierra Leonean song and only the most popular ones. Most Sierra Leoneans would say that we like what is foreign more than our own products even though they can hold their own against foreign imports, but the situation is becoming very serious and needs to be addressed.
The question is why are we still ignoring ours? Is it an inferiority complex or just lack of recognition of our own value by ourselves?
I was really tired of hearing repeated songs from the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage and the lists goes on, as if our own artist are no longer in existence . Do the said Nigerian artists even know that Sierra Leonean DJ’s are promoting their songs unprecedentedly? Don’t we now have a countless number of Sierra Leonean music that can compete with these foreign songs that our DJ’s are hailing because of reasons best known to them?.
The situation is such that I can’t help but ask more questions about what happened to the Local Content Policy Act that was passed recently and which is geared towards prioritizing everything Sierra Leonean in all walks of life? Sadly, it is quite evident that the law has not been implemented by the relevant MDAs so far.
I am of the conviction that serious action needs to be taken by the relevant government Institutions including the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, who should engage the owners of night clubs, Bars, radio stations and other entertainment spots in a round table meeting for them to adhere to what is enshrined in the Local Content Policy. Most tourists visiting Sierra Leone hang out in night clubs and bars to have a good time and having only foreign songs played in these places will send a bad signal about our music industry to outsiders.
We would also recall that radio DJ’s did extremely well to promote Sierra Leonean music in the recent past, but the club DJ’s are now the ones making it difficult for the growth of Sierra Leonean music with their love for mostly Nigerian music in their clubs.
The leadership of popular DJ groups such as the Sierra Leone DJ’s union (SLEDU), Elites DJ’S Organizations and Club DJ’s Association (CDA) should act now towards eradicating foreign songs from our airwaves, bars and night clubs as too much of it blocks our own talented musicians who are now doing many great songs with very meaningful lyrics that the whole world can relate to.