From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, MPs re-assure local artists on Piracy Act enactment
By Bampia Bundu
Jul 6, 2010, 17:08

Following series of concerns raised by local artists to protect their trade against pirates with the enactment of law to that effect; and with the concomitant threat to get hard on government for reneging on an earlier promise made by His Excellency President Koroma, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Youths and Sports on 3rd July 2010 re-assured them of the political will and government’s commitment to not only expedite the enactment of the Piracy Act but improve on the music industry in the country.

This reassurance was given in a dialogue meeting between the committee and representatives of local artists in Committee Room No.1

Leading the artists’ representation was Amadu L. Bah aka ‘Base Aphonz’ who commended the MPs for giving them the opportunity to sit together and discuss such pertinent issue. He said they have been looking forward to such a privilege as they had long felt rejected by the APC government. He recalled how the industry was encouraged by the former SLPP government by creating the enabling environment to sing all types music without much censor and threat of loyalty shift. "This gave us the opportunity to push the industry forward, unlike what we are going through under the APC," he impressed, adding that the APC government has thrown them away despite the role played by musicians in preaching against corruption and other societal vices.

Mr. Bah said they were expecting the APC government to work in partnership with them in developing the music industry and in pushing the concepts of government forward. "We have the audience as musicians. People listen to our messages more than others," he iterated.

He expressed his disappointment over the renege on a promises made by no less a person than President Koroma in ensuring that the piracy bill is passed in parliament. "We have exercised patience for long so we do not want government to allow us to change," he concluded.

However, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Youths and Sports, Hon. Nuru Deen Sankoh Yillah entreated on the local artists to continue being patient. He emphasized on the political will by government to improve the music industry. He admonished them to work as one family and to continue to put pressure on government to actualize their dreams. "We are quite aware that musicians can make and un-make a government for which they should be treated with all seriousness," he admitted as he assured them of the committee’s support in expediting the enactment of the Piracy Act. He however intimated that artists should help raise funds in order to take the bill to parliament as a private member bill.

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