THE MUSIC AND BEYOND: EMBATTLED PRESIDENT OF MUSICIAN UNION OF LIBERIA LONG FIGHT WITH DJ Weezy, CIC, BARO, PCK AND OTHERS
For some months now we’ve sat and watched the saga unfold with no ending in sight. Like the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, the constitution of the Musician Union is badly in need of some amendments. It is completely out of shape, we cannot be competitive in Africa with a dormant Union. In the grandest scheme of things, debates, arguments and dialogues should be based on logical reasons and fact findings not speculations and confusion for the sake of it. The accusations and counter statements are getting boring between the acting board of the Musician union of Liberia consist mostly of veterans in the business and the oppositions led by Djweezy. For the longest, DJweezy and his entourage of supporters in some new generational artistes like CIC, BARO, PCK, DENG to name but few known as CONCERN MUSICIANS OF LIBERIA have been rightly agitating for re-branding, restructuring and total inclusion of all musicians and practitioners in the Entertainment Industry.
While there has been attempts to ease the tension, honestly the MINISTRY OF INFORMATION CULTURE AND TOURISM has failed to arrest the situations fully on many occasions. Maybe they lack proper knowledge on how to organize the entertainment industry as a private public business and how to oversee the structuring of Unions in the entertainment sectors. Also, they could be sympathetic with one of the two warring parties or more familiar with one of them. Like they say “familiarity breeds contempt”. How we behave is a thing of nature and nurture, the actions of all parties has not been the best. First thing first, MICAT should’ve stamped their Authorities over this Saga, secondly they should be adequately adept with knowledge and happenings in this department. That way they can be in better positions to proffer solutions and ideas going forward. Thirdly, never ever mix official duties with friendships, It could be detrimental to one’s reputation.
The way the acting board of the Union keep dodging meetings organized by the Ministry with impunity you’d be suspicious that they’re being more favored and sympathized with. Yes it’s true the Union is a private company, but the Ministry has some responsibilities and authority to ask questions and if possible lay fines on the union and its officials when need be. The acting board especially the acting president’s actions has been disrespectful and cruel. Hiding behind the constitution to frustrate others will not be tolerated any longer. It is clearly stated in the outdated Union’s Constitution that “only registered musicians are allowed to be (a) A member (b) An official. That being the case, then the first item was bridged.
New generational Artistes has either been denied opportunities to be active members of the organization while some were granted, the few granted went through normal procedures only to find their names missing/scrolled out on the list of registered members. I don’t understand the point why someone will be given ID that is signed and stamped by the Authority when their information is not stored In the company’s archives, Unless it was deliberate because there has been several cases and evidence to support the claims. So I ask, why target the new generation of artists? Under the item (B) only Musicians can be members and take up official roles” This is not just thinking inside the box and outdated, it is naive.
P MAN = Performing Musicians of Nigeria started like us, they fought themselves and struggled like us until they realized that total inclusion of all entertainment practitioners was the way forward. They welcome all key actors of the sector on board. Thirty two years was spent wrangling and fighting among themselves before everyone came to their senses. Today, PRETTY OKAFOR who’s never been a musician but a key player in the sector has turned that union into a money making machine for the Union and the Nigerian Government. With a potential to generate 15trillion Naira annually, convert that you’ll have 41billion, 265million, 480thousand dollars ($41,265,480,000). This is the reason why the Government of Nigeria is investing heavily into the sector now. We’re not taking this seriously in Liberia. MASA-Musician Associations Of South Africa also has an Entertainment practitioner as it’s president thus reinventing and refurbishing life to what was once known as the greatest Entertainment Industry in Africa, a position hotly Rivaled then by Congo with the ear bursting, feet stumping,waist shaking sweet RUMBA sound but sadly the Rumba is dying along with the Congolese Entertainment Industry. So why should Liberia be following the same failed approached? Why don’t we do research before undertaking projects and making critical decisions? Why should we always have faulty starts? Why are we shutting the doors to DJs, Promoters, OAPs (On Air Personalities), Bloggers, Managers, Investors and other Personalities), Bloggers, Managers, Investors and other key practitioners? FIBA and FIFA are two federations, one for basketball and the other for football but have you ever took a closer look at their history? People that transformed these federations into what they are today, were not professional basketball players or footballers. They were practitioners playing major roles in the backgrounds.
Why do we narrow our minds when planning for the future? The acting president of Musician Union of Liberia has abused his position. The Union has been dormant for 12 plus years now. It’s clear he has no vision for the Industry. He should be removed and an Interim board be installed to oversee the amendments of the Constitution and eventually the elections. Registration of New Members should commence while old registered members should validate and update theirs. Djweezy and Co has fought a good battle. We can’t sit down and allow one man or few men hold the Union hostage through a portion of the constitution, even if it has cleared the constitution and is not up to date. The good news is, the Ministry has stepped up and suspended the constitution after several weeks of auditing and scrutiny.
They have also reduced registration fee from $60 USD to 150LD for old members and 250LD for new members. Kudos to THE CONCERN MUSICIANS OF LIBERIA. Kudos to AMBASSADOR DJ WEEZY for his effortless struggles all for the gains of our Industry.
Let me congratulate my company PLUSLIBERIA.COM | PLUSGOSPEL.COM our Dynamic General Manager SAM SLIMBEATZ GOLD (An International Music producer and a businessman), Tireless hardworking CEO P. DENNIS SAMBOLA JR, Chief editor EDWIN MOHAMMED ELIC-JALEIBA and the rest of the boards and staffs for pushing the industry and giving it a new dimension. For Providing platforms so our Musicians can be heard, their welfares can be taken care of, their stories can be told/written and their struggles can be documented.
WRITTEN BY: JAY KAMARA [EDITOR PLUSLIBERIA]