The Sierra Leone Entertainment Industry – The ECOFEST Experience and a Lot More!


By: Sheku Putka Kamara

Maybe it is no news that we still have a long way to go as far as entertainment is concerned, but then, I believe that we have been make some efforts and those effort need recognitions. For a start, I am convinced that there are serious management issues in the Sierra Leone entrainment industry and so to shoot this straight, where there’s no leadership and where there’s no pathway, chances are, the results may likely be counterproductive.

For the purposes of this narration, I wish to touch on a range of things, but particularly so – ECOFEST. Even if you are not a fan of KABAKA, maybe and just maybe, we all owe it to ourselves to support his vision. His thrust of bringing major acts across the continent is huge. The team has been doing an amazing job, but yes, my message to them is that challenges are a part of every venture and so they should kindly continue to move on.

I note with concern the few acts that declined to have performed on the show. Logically, whiles I do not certainly comprehend those decisions, I was going to ask who was going to have lost it anyways? Here is an opportunity for one to perform at arguably one of the biggest musical stages in Africa and you turn that down? To me, that was more like saying, I wish to stay local as it stands. I have no idea what may have transpired between ABT Esq. and the very artists, but going by the few things I have come across on Facebook, there was need for some dialogue. A decision was not reached in some certain respects, but then, this should be more like a lesson for us all. On the performances, our SALONE ACTS did awesome and to me, the lady in Pink, of course, STAR Zee and Drizi lighted the stage in some awesome ways. But then, if you are going to get very ‘big’ artists from other nations, what happened to ours here?

Maybe and just maybe, that was an ECOFEST decision, but in subsequent editions, getting other bigger acts here will make things even more awesome. Imagine getting Emmerson, K-Man, Kao etc. for ECOFEST? With those acts, you may likely not need more others. Chances are, these are musicians that have the individual abilities to fill up even our national stadium. You see that? Kabaka was live and he made some comments regarding some of our compatriots that call themselves bloggers and some of the artists. Now, let me restate this (having stated same in other elaborations).

Some of these people that post on Facebook as and when they feel like are only doing so out of individualistic sanctification. They have absolutely no idea as to what blogging truly and really is and so that is just that. It is a waste of time to even attempt to address them. Now, I would note that whiles I feel for ABT, he truly needed not to have even given relevance to some of those guys. As an entertainment executive, it is apt not to even tolerate certain personal discussions. This takes me back to my call for effective managements at all levels. Where this is the case, we could not have had some of these shenanigans in the first place. However, we all keep learning by the day and I am hopeful that ECOFEST will and should continue to make the headlines for all the reasons.

Yeah – It’s the festive period and so the hassles are all over the place, but the purchasing of tickets should have been done a lot simpler. It was good that they had tickets at the gate too. That was my concern for a good number of persons that were unable to get theirs online. For example, I bought mine via Orange Money, but I could not get the ticket at HAWAWA because I was told that at my time of getting there, my particular ticket was not readily available. I had to rush to UBA HQ and yes, with all the queue, the lady that should issue tickets was not even on her seat. Someone had to call her on my arrival. So, to me, we could still maintain mobile payments, but maybe get tickets at the gate or just buy live and direct? That could save time, energy and even resources.

Clearly, we are not there yet. We still have a long way to go. Let us support those that are already making the efforts and like I have noted, if we are bringing the very best of acts from other places, it is only right that we also line up the very best that we have here. The money is important, but this also has to do with getting things done and correctly too. Let’s keep trying!


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