Lamin Costo Daramy: 18 March 2021:
President Julius Maada Bio has made history as the first President in the Republic of Sierra Leone to appoint someone from the entertainment industry to a top diplomatic position. Amara Dennis Turay Jalloh, whose stage name is Kao Dennero has been appointed by HE JMB as Special Envoy for Entertainment and Investment.
This novelty will soon wear off because HE JMB has set a fantastic precedent which will be emulated, depending on the legacy Kao will carve out for himself. We have to commend our Tok-N-Do President for showing his determination in resurrecting our entertainment industry to it’s glory days.
However, Kao’s appointment has been met with split opinions. Some view it as a commendable move by President Bio for giving the recognition and much needed attention that will help boost our entertainment industry, position our country as a viable tourism and entertainment hub in the sub region with potential economic benefits.
Most youths identify themselves with Kao especially through his music; you can clearly tell that he understands the social issues that our youths are faced with – especially those from poor socio-economic backgrounds. This will definitely give our youths renewed hope and inspiration.
Others condemn Kao’s appointment and regard it as a risk taken by His Excellency, considering Kao’s past actions and bitter rivalry with some of his colleagues in the music industry. To some, this appointment is likely to put flame to that rivalry as Koa is now in a position of authority.
Besides, we all deserve a chance. Don’t we?
My personal opinion is that Kao deserves it. From a distance, I have seen him go through a transformational period. I reckon he will do a fantastic job in his capacity as our Special Envoy for Entertainment and Investment.
Looking at the diverse views, Kao has been in the industry for quite some time, with a wealth of experience that will help to inform his decisions. He has what it takes to leave an indelible mark in the entertainment industry.
However, for Kao to be the real King, here are few recommendations that he might want to consider: Kao should now understand that rivalry in the entertainment world is something of an oddity and he should use his position to reach out to his adversaries.
Secondly, he needs a synergy between artists, promoters and DJ’s. I call this the three-legged approach. In the absence of one leg, the two will not be as effective as you would want it. If he can succeed in this and ensure that his colleagues feel valued, appreciated and respected, the rest will be history. This might be a daunting task but most certainly doable.
Thirdly, he is now Kao the Special Envoy. He should be a unifier and frown at anything that might bring about division in the industry. Temptations that could lead to loss of composure would present itself in different shapes and sizes. He should always remain calm.
Fourthly, his first move/action as Special Envoy will send a clear message of his intentions and will set the tone of his tenure in office as Special Envoy. He should put his best foot forward. Last but definitely not the least, the best he can ever be is to be himself because that is what got him into the position.
Congratulations on your new role and best wishes. Do us all proud King Kao. We in the entertainment industry are proud of you and applaud His Excellency Julius Maada Bio for a commendable move.
Thanks Wiecha, you took me back. If you add to that list men like Kanda Bongoman, Bob Marley, who’s reggae music was not only one of the most important export the tiny island of Jamaica gave to the world, but his music was very influential in bringing different political groups together in Jamaica in the seventies and eighties. Indeed he was in Zimbabwe on the 18th of April 1980 when they became independent. As well as those music talents, Sierra Leone had its own music national treasures like, Nicholas G. J. I Ballanta, Bunny Mack, Ahmed Janka Nabay, Steady Bongo and and Dr Oloh, and many more. Though they are musicians of talents, they are the unsung heroes. Maybe some of my compatriots would never have heard of them. Nevertheless they contributed greatly in promoting brand Sierra Leone without even been noticed.
If there is one trait we Sierra Leoneans have – is to “BLUFF”. But these wonderful Sierra Leonean music Stars are humble, and doing what they like to do. To promote and present a good face of Sierra Leone to the outside world. I could not say that about our corrupt politicians that have made it their mission to destroy brand Sierra Leone, and bring misery to the people. Surely our country don’t deserve these corrupt politicians. We want politicians that are fired up, and ready to make meaningful changes about the way our country is governed.
Amen – You have indeed shown a true loyalty to me in general that you are a journalist for the people, not for personal self. All advise for the king indeed should considered….. Even I myself have no doubt in him.. I pray he will always be who he is.
Congratulations to king Kao. Its about time we start recognising our good will ambassadors to use their platforms to promote brand Sierra Leone. Five countries around the world that are really good at using their entertainment industries to counter any negative publicity about their countries, are the United States, United Kingdom, France, Nigeria, South Africa and South Korea. The reasons are quite simple, their entertainment industries have far more reach and influence around the globe, than sometimes their politicians or economic power can reach especially the Facebook generation or Instagram.
Back in 50s and 60s America, when the country was engulfed in race riots, and the civil rights movement at its peak, and Americas involvement in the Vietnam war, there was another side of America that the world was treated to. Sports, Mohamed Ali, Soul singers the Supremes, Aretha Franklin and Rock Roll, Madonna, the Jackson Five. Nigeria and South Africa, Fela Kuti, Lucky Dumbe, Hugh Masakela. And more recently in the US, Hip Hop music Tupac, Biggy Small, and MTV music. Of course the UK produce the Beatles and Top of the pops. And South Korea not to be outdone have their own boy band group called BTS or K-pop conquering the world using the power of Music. Its called soft power. Our country is known for so much negative publicity, corruption, Blood Diamonds and everything in between. We have to find a particular skill sets, or artistic performance to promote our country. Supporting sports and the entertainment industry is one way of doing it.
Kenya and Ethiopia use their long distance runners as sources of pride, and where despite all their tribal divisions, people of all ethnic groups are capable of wrapping themselves around their flag and supporting their athletes. Sometimes I attend races and people are quick to ask me, are you a Kenyan? No comes my swift reply. A Sierra Leonean. And their next question is even more baffling to me. Where is Sierra Leone? I have to take the trouble and explain to them its in West Africa.
Mr. Jalloh, you forgot a lot of wonderful african musicans like salif keita, youssou n’dour, papa wemba, etc., and the american blues and jazz has its roots in africa.