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Sierra Leone Musicians Endorse U.N. Communications Man
By Sylvia O. Blyden
Jun 19, 2009, 17:34
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Dozens of Sierra Leones lead musicians yesterday stormed the Awareness Times Newspaper offices to register their dismay with the personal attacks being levied in certain other local news media against one of the United Nations most hardworking staff in the country, the Cameroonian born Peter Ngu Tayong.

Led by the President of the All-Stars Musicians, Abubakar Elba (aka BASE APHONIX), the musicians denounced these recent attacks on Peter Tayong which have arisen out of a misunderstanding that arose from a musical trio which is seemingly laying claim to be the only ones in the country who have the right to promote the concept of peace building through music.

In an angrily worded letter to the UNs ERSG Michael Schulenburg, the trio denounced Peter Tayong as having hijacked their concept and their name of Artists for Peace during a recent Peace-building musical effort.

However, this is where Base Aphonix and virtually all the countrys leading musicians have come in strongly to state that ARTISTS FOR PEACE is conceptually and morphologically different from ARTISTS UNITED FOR PEACE BUILDING IN SIERRA LEONE.

"We do not work for money or financial gains but for the country and for the betterment of the Music Industry. We understand that our colleagues might be under the mistaken belief that Peter Tayong gave us cash for the recent Stadium programme but no cash crossed hands" Base Aphonix painstakingly explained.

Another point that the musical artists have raised yesterday is that "the grossly unfair targeting of Peter Tayong" by their colleague musicians would have the propensity to make other foreigners shy away from working with Sierra Leonean groups for peace.

Base Aphonix tells Awareness Times that regardless of the various issues that act as a stumbling block to sustainable peace in the country, they as musicians were determined to put their shoulders to the wheel to help overcome any such obstacles and it was in this light, he opined that Peter Tayong has always been a friend of Sierra Leone in general and musicians in particular so they as musicians could not watch quietly as he was given a bad name.

"Peter Tayong loves Sierra Leone and many patriotic Sierra Leoneans who have interacted with him know this; this is why we have all come here today to ask you to publicise in your newspaper that the musicians of Sierra Leone respect and admire Peter Tayong," Base Aphonix, the Music President told Awareness Times to loud cheers of support from his accompanying musical artists.

Efforts to contact Peter Tayong at the UNIPSIL Headquarters yesterday for his reaction to the latest developments proved futile but it is a fact, which Awareness Times newspaper can easily confirm from firsthand experience, that Peter Tayong has been a bulwark of support to many local musical artists groupings such as the Sierra Leone Female Musicians Association led by Madam Vicky Fornah.

It is not just the musical artists but many other Sierra Leoneans who spoke to this writer on the issue believe that Peter Tayong is being unfairly targeted because some people believe that he has been given a huge amount of money for musical peace-building and has not shared this cash with them. However, it is a fact that ARTISTS UNITED FOR PEACE BUILDING IN SIERRA LEONE have stated they are more interested in stopping Intellectual Piracy of their music than in collecting immediate monetary benefits for themselves.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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