‘Artists for Peace’, an assemblage of over a dozen well-known Sierra Leonean musicians, is planning to travel nationwide in a series of organized sensitization concerts.
At a press conference on Monday at the ministry of youth and sports conference room, National Stadium hostels in Freetown, the chief national technical consultant of the National Communications Strategy Project (NCSP) Kalilu I. Totangi explained that the sensitization aimed at promoting tolerance and non-violence in the run-up to the August 11 polls.
Mr Totangi stated that the initiative came through collaboration with NCSP and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to campaign against violence.
“Election is just a game there should be tolerance to listen to eachother’s views,” he said, and gave a rundown of the intended nationwide non-violence campaign.
According to him, “the peace concerts are scheduled to take place at several locations in Freetown, Makeni, Bo, Kenema and Kono”.
The spokesperson for ‘Artists for Peace’, Haroun Hakim Dumbuya aka Wahid of ‘Dem Ting Dem’ fame, explained that as artists it was their responsibility and civic duty to preach messages of non-violence.
Wahid maintained that members of ‘Artists for Peace’ “are neutral artists who have volunteered to do something for Sierra Leone”.
He explained that the rationale behind coming together to preach messages of non-violence in the upcoming elections was because “artists have the ability to influence a large number of people, especially the young who are mostly perpetrators of violent acts.”
Wahid, who was declared a peace ambassador early this year by the UNDP’s peace ambassador Aja, begged Sierra Leoneans to start thinking about their country and forget about violence as “it will destroy our fragile peace.”
Celebrated comedian Ernest Brewa aka Vamboi explained that these elections would be test cases to show how civilized “we are as a nation”, so voters should eschew violence.
The resident representative of UNDP, Victor Angelo, commended the spirit of the artists involved in ‘Artists for Peace’.
“These young people represent what is best about the country, and the UN is proud to support them so that their messages of peace reach all the citizens of their country,” Mr Angelo said.
By Ophaniel Gooding