Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Burkinabe Reggae singer Banned for Stirring Up Revolt

 It has been brought to our attention that reggae singer and radio host Sams'K Le Jah has been banned from any access to the radio because of a song that he wrote and broadcasted about Blais Compaore, the president of Burkina Faso.

Since the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, there have been violent events across Burkina Faso including teacher strikes, and mobs demanding the end of Blaise Compaore's reign as dictator. Aligning himself with the revolt, Sams'K Le Jah became something of a voice for the revolt on his weekly reggae show via Ouaga FM. Inspired by the revolts, Le Jah wrote a song with the refrain ‘Ce président là.... ce président là... il faut qu’il parte... et il partira...’ (‘This president will have to go, and he will leave’). The song has subsequently caused Le Jah and his show to be banned from the airwaves in Burkina Faso.

Read more on this unfortunate violation of free speech and Le Jah's politically-charged past including his involvement in the festival " Sankara Festival," a music fest dedicated to the memory of former president Thomas Sankara who was violently over-thrown in a coup staged by Compaore in the 80s at Freemuse.

We encourage you to pass this news on in hopes of making the music world aware of this situation. 


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