The Sierra Leone DJs Union (SLeDU) will be holding their elections on 19th December 2020 in Kenema. This was disclosed yesterday at a press conference at the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Brookfields in Freetown.
According to Chernor S. Bangura, the chairman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) – a body within SLeDU that is responsible for conducting elections, they will be holding five elections between the 18th and 19th December in Kenema. Elections will be conducted for the following positions; the Presidency, Secretary General, Financial Secretary, Regional Chairman and Regional Secretary.
The IEC chairman furthered that two aspirants came up for the presidency including Emmanuel Charles (DJ Ziko) of Culture Radio and Samuel Lavas (Dj Lava) of Radio Democracy. Unfortunately, Emmanuel Charles of Culture Radio has opted out of the race, leaving Samuel Lavas unopposed. The chairman said that according to the aspirant, he opted out of the race because he couldn’t meet the financial demands of the IEC.
The chairman went on to say that in their last meeting they tabled a proposed nomination fee that aspirants were supposed to pay, a proposal that was criticised by both aspirants.
In the proposed fee the presidency was supposed to pay Le8 million and the least fee was Le1.5 million. The fees were later reduced by the IEC, wherein the presidency will now pay Le5 million. Meanwhile, Mohamed Tarawallie of the National Advisory Council (NAC) and of SLeDU gave a brief background of the organisation.
“The Sierra Leone DJs Union was established in October 2012. It was established because there were factions when it came to DJs union,” he said. It was also established from advice they’d received from elders who had been in the DJ world for years.
According to him the SLeDU was established at Ferry Junction. In their initial stage, the union was applying the selection method to select members into important positions in the organization. The first president was Ibrahim Kalokoh, and the chairman at that time was Amad Tejan Davies.
He said in the early years there were many challenges, but they were able to organise their first event which was the SLeDU National Music Awards in 2013 at the National Stadium. The second award was also organised in 2014 at the same venue. The first democratic election was conducted on 4th March 2017 at the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists headquarters, Campbell Street.
“The winner of that election was Abdul Karim Koroma (Pilot CPO), the first national president of the SLeDU,” he said. Under his presidency, there were many challenges he faced and when his term in office expired in March 2019, the union was unable to conduct elections, he said.
However, Mohamed Tarawallie said that they were able to bring other DJ bodies under one umbrella in a meeting at the National Stadium where a memorandum of understanding was signed and NAC was established to take care of the activity of the union. NAC is supposed to run the affairs of the organisation when the term of the president expires. With the NAC they were able to put proper structures in place. He said the organisation was registered at Corporate Affairs Commission and now the union is a corporate body.
A meeting was organised on 8th November 2020, where they adopted a new constitution. The union now has an account at Rokel Commercial Bank and they now have an office at 12 Regent Road, off PZ. In addition, the Minister of Tourism, Dr. Memunatu Pratt was absent due to another cabinet engagement. Other senior DJs were present like; Mamaja Barrie (DJ Base), Mohamed Bangura (King Milan) to name but a few.
The program ended with the presentation of honorary SLeDU membership identity cards to H.E Julius Maada Bio, the Vice President Dr. Mohamed J. Jalloh, First Lady Fatima Maada Bio and Mr. Khalilu Totangi.
So there are new DJs in town! AM/4/12/2020 (Intern)
By Anthony Macauley (Intern)