The first ever ECOWAS Musical Festival (ECOFEST) was officially launched at the Hotel 5-10 on Friday 5th October 2018 at a colourful ceremony held. The one in a million events, which will be held at the National Stadium on 16th November 2018 will host local and international top musical stars from host nation Sierra Leone, and other countries including Guinea, Ghana, The Gambia, Nigeria, Liberia and Senegal.
Abu BakarrTurayEsq., (popularly known as The Kabaka) is the Chief Executive Officer of Kabaka Multimedia Entertainment (KME) Music Label. He does not only believes in dreams, but is of the view that whatsoever one set his hands on must be done diligently for the benefit of all. With just over a year and half in the Music Industry, the KME CEO prides himself to be one of Sierra Leone’s development oriented citizens that has been dreaming of taking local music to international level. “This is the reason for ECOFEST in Sierra Leone,” he told his audience. In spite of the challenges in the music sector he has created a platform to not only empower talents under his music label but also bring them to the world stage to showcase their God-given talents. “I realize that Sierra Leone music was only playing in Sierra Leone. I want to take it to the international level,” he said and added that he want to have local talents competing with their international counterparts. “We are losing lots of revenue and spending a lot to bring international musicians whilst our local musicians are paid pittance,” says the KME CEO and further notes that he was ECOFEST to serve as a platform for international musicians to envy and should always want to be part of it.
His dream of taking Sierra Leone music to the world stage started after meeting with West Africa’s music promoters and producers like Michael Collins Ajereh otherwise known as Don Jazzy of and Chief Organizer of Ghana meet Nija, AnokyeAdisi, also known as Bola Ray. KME is partnering with Empire Entertainment of Ghana to bring the first ECOFEST, which has the tendency of climbing to another level.
“I need the support of all to make this dream come true so that Sierra Leone music will be all over the world,” Kabaka said.
In his official launch keynote statement, godfather of Sierra Leone’s music, Jimmy Bangura (popularly known as Jimmy B), praised Kabaka for having a bigger dream as an individual for the music industry, and pointed out that ECOFEST will bring a positive turnaround in the industry. “This is the only way we can showcase our continent to the rest of the world in terms of good music with musical talents,” he remarked. Sierra Leone, he said has musical talents but do not have the platform to expose them internationally. With KME, Jimmy B said Sierra Leone music is now growing to a greater height.
He warned local musicians against imitating Nigerians or Ghanaians, and encouraged them to be proud of singing in their own local languages and beats. “We can mix bubu music with hip hop just to showcase what we have in our country,” advised. He concluded by calling for a good collaboration between the DJs and Musicians. “Human relation is very important. We should learn to use one hand to wash another,” he said.
Speaker after speaker pledged their commitment and support towards the success of ECOFEST 2018.