Musicians in Liberia are engulfed with challenges ranging from piracy, poor sales, and marginalization to disunity and infighting, prompting the Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson Tamba Koijee to call on the country’s musicians to unite and work together in promoting Liberian music to the world.
Mayor Koijee describes the music sector as a melting point in every society and should not be left out, but stresses that it is only thru unity, focus and dedication the industry would progress.
He says it requires teamwork to help the music industry in Liberia to grow and enable musicians to realize the fruits of their labor.
Speaking here Monday, 18 July at a one-day Artistic Symposium in commemoration of the 2022 Bicentennial Edition of the Golden Image Award organized by the entertainment group, Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP), Mayor Koijee told musicians to embrace unity as a key in their struggles for fairness.
“In unity and discipline the sky is your limit”, he says and describes the music sector as a unique sector that is capable of directly contributing to the transformation of any nation.
Koijee also wants musicians to engage in a structural approach, take charge of their own careers, share information, experiences, and ideas that will benefit them and enlighten their performances.
He calls on them to serve as ambassadors in championing their own causes, rather than involving in personality clashes that have existed and divided the industry for so many years.
Mayor Koijee offers to work with the head of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP) Culture Queen, Amb. Juli Endee to organize a 3-day conference with musicians in moving the industry forward to attract the government’s attention.
He says at the end of the conference, a resolution will be adopted on behalf of musicians that would attract government’s interest in the sector, including recommendation for budgetary support.
He notes that the National Budget is for the people and by every means it should reflect their image.
For her part, Ambassador Juli Endee, architect of the Golden Image Award and Executive Director of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace frowns at musicians for hating one another in the midst of marginalization.
She says musicians should learn to accommodate and tolerate one another, and eschew infighting. Instead, she continues that they should grow with courage, change the narrative and demonstrate that musicians in Liberia can contribute to national development.
Ambassador Endee explains that the Golden Image Award is designed to recognize and honor leaders and philanthropists, who have helped Liberia achieve its current standing as a post-war success story among the world’s nations.
Serving as Keynote Speaker, Deputy Commerce Minister for Administration, Wilfred JS Bangura, II, challenges musicians to work tirelessly to protect and promote image of the Liberian Music Industry to attract investments.
Minister Bangura cautions stakeholders in the artistic industry, especially those in the music sector to support government in helping to grow the industry.
Meanwhile, President George Manneh Weah is expected to serve as Convener of the award ceremony, while his predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is the Image of the Award.
United States Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy, will deliver the keynote address for this year’s Golden Image Award dubbed “200 Years of Commemoration.”
The Award is an integral part of Liberia’s 175th Independence Day celebrations coming up on July 26th,
The Golden Image Award (GIA) was established in September 2010, and the inaugural ceremony took place in July 2011.
Since the end of Liberia’s 14-year civil war, the GIA provides a unique platform for the country to recognize and honor individuals, organizations, and nations that have, against all odds, contributed their time and resources to development, investment, leadership, human rights, peace & security, arts & culture, health, advocacy, humanity, empowerment, democracy, and social justice for all in the world. Editing by Jonathan Browne