Controversy over an extended time for President Ernest Koroma in office has heightened in the past few months. Early this month, the President of All Stars (a group of musicians), Collabo, Swagga King made a public declaration in support of an extension of President Koroma’s time in office.
In an interview with Radio Democracy 98.1FM, Callabo said that 98% of musicians in Sierra Leone are in support of the extension of President Koroma’s time in office, which is dubbed ‘more time’.
However, this statistical presentation of Collabo regarding the number of musicians in the country which are in support of giving President Koroma ‘more time’ in office did not go down well with the Godfather of Sierra Leone’s music industry, Jimmy B.
Yesterday, in an interview with Awoko, Jimmy B blasted Collabo for making such a baseless generalization of musicians supportive of the ‘more time’ campaign.
“For someone to say 98% or 90% or even 50% of the musicians in the country support the ‘more time’ campaign is rather unfortunate because that statement is baseless and without any grounds,” he said.
Jimmy B also stated that “as a musician and part of the music family I’m dispelling [Collabo’s] message that I’m not part of [his statistics] and I don’t believe in [more time] and I find [his generalization] very offensive.”
The Godfather emphasized, “If [Collabo] had said that 98% of All Stars -the association which he is heading are supportive of more time campaign then I have no qualms with that, but generalizing it saying 98% of the musicians in the country support ‘more time’ campaign that includes me and for me that is not the truth,” he said.
Jimmy B noted that “everybody has the right to form his or her opinion and support whosoever they want to support, we have what is called free speech which everyone is entitled to, you have the right to express yourself to say whatever you want to say; [nevertheless] I have an issue when others try to impose their will on us; I think that is wrong,” he maintained.
Jimmy B explained that it is very painful to see the U- turn which the industry has taken.
“I left South Africa to come and invest in my brothers and sisters. I established the first modern recording studio at the time. I brought Collabo from Bo to Freetown and gave him the opportunity to showcase his talent because when I was on tour years back I usually organize concert competition in the different villages and pick raw talents and bring them together just to build their capacity. But it’s rather unfortunate today most of the musicians are project musicians. Some of us don’t know why some of the musicians are doing what they do, maybe it is because of poverty, maybe because the music don’t sell or maybe because of piracy, there are lot of things involved and most of them are ‘ass-kissers’
They like making lots of noise with the intention that a minister or the President will hear them and [subsequently] receive envelopes for [praise signing].”
“I don’t see any reason why you should sell your soul to the devil in the name of poverty,” the Godfather averred.