Suhood Komeh Takes you Inside "Munku Boss Pan Matches"
By Abdul Suhood Komeh
(I went to Kankaylay Primary School, PWD, Kissy. Please excuse my robotic, 1970s - 80s primary-standard opening) I am not sorry, but very happy to write to you this letter, to congratulate you on your latest hit, MUNKU BOS PAN MATCHES.
For the record, it's my view that Tutu Party is still your best song. Nonetheless, even though I believe the lyrics to the new tune could have done with some tweaking, it's brilliant that it's enjoying such a reach. Importantly, penetrating the main target's cultivated veneer of cool and all-is-well in Sierra Leone. For it seems Mr President Ernest Bai Koroma and his team of 'Lay Belleh' executives are rattled like I have never seen them before. Shame on you SLPP!
Emerson, you even managed to squeeze the taboo line, 'tay ar pass the baton to me successor' (until I hand over to my successor) out of the jaws of the 'More Time' candidate. What an achievement. Remarkable artistry!
On behalf of the entire Anti-Sycophants League on social media and elsewhere, promised a 'beating' if we ever make our presence known in Freetown, thank you, you shiny diamond of Sierra Leone. It turns out, for the toothlessness and corruption of our opposition as an institution, our hope may well lie in the arts! Who the hell is Dr Bernadette Lahai?
Emerson, you succeeded, where the overrated intelligentsia at the SLPP looked the other way as any semblance of restraint in the system is destroyed. You injected a small dose of sanity to an otherwise skewed narrative, even as we are overcome by the stench of political failure.
Absolutely not, Mr Emerson Bockarie. You are not an ordinary fly to be swatted, for the audacity of expression. You might appear an irrelevant bug in their eyes. But to some of us, you represent a possible discovery of a surviving dinosaur of conscience against immorality - a collectors item, it could be in Sierra Leone.
Where political participation does not only mean kowtowing, a President aiming derogatory epithets at a citizen striving to distinguish himself/herself in their occupations would be held to task. But hey, Emerson, don't be concerned. Absorb the comment and gesture with artistic poise: you must be doing your job right to provoke such ire. Compromise, they say, is anathema to authentic arts.
Emerson, a predecessor of yours did exactly what you are doing now. Unfortunately, the politically ambitious lacked the intelligence to understand him then. And of course ordinary people were just as complicit. The consequences of that mistake are now clear for all to see, and exactly what you are addressing today.
In the 1990s, the great Dr Orloh said, 'Momoh Sidon saful, dem take power cam gee am'. Most Sierra Leoneans busied themselves dancing without bothering to decipher the deeper meaning of what he was saying.
No, he may not have been extolling the powers of a God preordaining a future. He was simply astounded by the ease at which a whole nation was being duped into accepting a President Momoh, chosen for us without question, by a tyrant plotting an escape, scot-free for the criminal ruin of a country's future. The emphasis, to our detriment was on the buffoonery, 'wata wey nar for you, ee nor go run pass you'! Really.
The Great Dr Orloh went on to ask, 'osiaie we get for go, wey them rebel dey cam for kill we?' To that again, I'm not sure he was asking a question for the sake of it. Or subscribing to the popular view of the time, that the murderous Foday Sankoh was the only bad guy in the land. He was probably reminding us all, including Sankoh and his band of killers and amputators, of the ultimate responsibility: country. But nobody bothered to ask him for clarification. In fact it's safe to say he was dismissed as an uneducated dimwit, Sassman-drunk, incapable of imagining Foday Sankoh to be a grown-old child of bad politics. And boy, for that foolishness, we are here, a stunted nation without direction.
Expression, creativity, emotion, imagination, beauty, perfection, and of course importantly, ugly imperfections too (depending on perception) - there could be more - all words associated or integral to the production of any arts, regardless of site and time. Arts, narrate the present, reifies it, for the present and future to revisit the past. In most cases art is a foreteller of the future too.
Hopefully, Emerson, the resonance that catapulted your song to such an impact might be the beginning of something here. I'm not holding my breath, but hopeful.
Sometimes, Emerson, it appears as if Sierra Leoneans don't pay enough attention to the arts created for us. Please don't despair. The artistic brilliance that is Rome 'wasn't built in a day'. In other words, the pursuit of perfection requires persistence. Keep at it Emerson. If people fail to see that you are selflessly speaking on their behalf today, hopefully, posterity could cast a more generous gaze at your eventual body of work. There, my friend, lies immortality.
On that note, I will end. Hopefully, I will get to meet you one day, to thank you in person.
Emerson, for your next song can you please address the madness of the project used to dismiss you? I actually think it's an abdication of responsibility for a government to introduce a toll road, with such pomp and circumstance when there are no alternative routes out of Freetown.
Your secret fan
Name at the top.