“What is Muunku?”
It is none of your business. This is the worst type of “witty repartee” one could satirically ascertain to any situation.
Can you imagine what type of answer Emerson would have received from his lyrics synonymized “Adebayo”? It would have made flashy headlines worldwide. Instead the cool and calculative president and government of Sierra Leone tolerated the rhetoric and moved on in silence but progressively continued his zest in developing mama Salone. What a role model of democracy and freedom of speech in the history of Sierra Leone by the president of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. One could easily reflect the days of late Hindolo Trye who owned a journal tabloid “Tablet” and was critical of late president Siaka Steven’s government. Hindolo Trye had to flee the country for criticizing the late Siaka Stevens government who had his office ransacked and destroyed. Nothing like this type of criticism would have been tolerated. Not even in Nigeria in the days of Fela Ransom Kuti one of Nigeria’s popular musicians who was also critical of Nigerian government’s corruption.
Muunku is a slang word coming from one of the vernaculars of Sierra Leone that can mean anything that is bad. Attempting to translate it can create a lot of resentment and rancor. It could mean an uncouth behavior or a reprobate, that is how much insultive it could go. Emerson is a good musician and a clever one that can pluck the hearts of many with his lyrics. He knows the hour of the day when to leash a venomous lyric of songs that could unseat any lazy government that is corruptive and not doing a proper job. He did produce a musical lyric “Borbor Bele” that was attributed of unseating the government of late President Ahmed Tejan Kabba of the SLPP party.
In the middle of a second term ruling of President Ernest Koroma’s ruling of the APC party, Emerson has done it again by releasing another lyric “Muunku burst pan matches” one that many considered as a direct hit to the present government of the APC and its ruler Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. The controversy remains and will continue to linger on as electioneering coming in another year and a half. Many political pundits saw this lyric to be in favor of the SLPP main opposition party that has remain dormant in parliament, and also plagued in a quagmire of implosive battle for leadership of the SLPP party. Many saw it as a bias and a tribalistic sentiment; an argument that does not auger well though Emerson a mende by tribe and would faithfully vote for SLPP in an election, but did criticize the SLPP party in his previous lyric of Borbor bele for corruption, and not doing a good job.
Now remains to be seen what Emerson’s position is. What did he do in his lyrics that is not wrong or right? The facts are evident in his message which put a thrust on the negatives of the government of the APC that were evidenced based for one to see. The same he did for late president Kabba’s government Borbor bele.
However failing to flip the coin to the positive gains achieved by the APC party under president Koroma’s rule portrayed Emerson as bias and tribalistic. Many other musicians in the country have come out in other lyrics favoring and alluding the government and president Koroma’s rule as the best of governance since independence. The points made by many patriots holds true in many respects. It would be a matter of opinion, but, in terms of development, President Koroma’s government showed signs of early development in his agenda of change until Ebola struck a hard blow to his government. A hard fact that was witnessed by the entire world’s observation. The ruins of the past were further ignited by the unprecedented viral complications. The future looked bleak and uncertainty prevailed. The Ebola crisis further exposed the failing health system which has been long neglected and other weaknesses in other parastatals that were exacerbated in the previous wars. President Koroma took stewardship of the Ebola crises and navigated till the demise of the virus. Failing also by Emerson to allude president Koroma’s efforts and down playing the importance of the robust network of roads puts Emerson’s criticism not only shameful but bias unpatriotic and inciting. Fortunately Emerson’s quick attention in praising a good freedom of speech encouraged by president Koroma is an honest opinion.
What should be avoided in Sierra Leone by all Sierra Leoneans in the future is disrespect for our statesmen but again our statesmen should behave honorably. Our government has done well in some areas, but have failed to prioritize the needs of the country in other areas. Perhaps our government, may not want to be dismissive of Emerson’s clarion call or advice. It is a difficult task for any leader in Sierra Leone to build overnight the ruins of war and Ebola. Therefore the country should not wait or procrastinate in vital functions of health systems, environmental, education, food, employment and security. The lyric of Emerson should be used as a diagnostic tool to further continue the agenda of prosperity by avoiding the resentment expressed by Emerson but could be a reflection of the voice of the people. “vox populi vox dei” The voice of the people is the voice of God. Let us all work for the unity and prosperity of our country. Let us avoid the things that would lead us to our ugly past. It is only mama Salone we have for us and our future generation. We can belong to different creeds of religion, political parties, but we are not enemies we are opponents. Let us preserve our country and be appreciative of little favors achieved by present and past leaders and build positively into our future. Let us avoid hatred for one another. We are a small population, too small for our immense wealth, let us stop the greed and selfishness and learn to share and work for the common good of all. Lonta.
By Dr. Augustine A Kamara