Senegalese artist and producer Fafadi has challenged Gambian authorities to execute its duties to artists in their country.
Some of the issues he addressed include royalty payments and visas for performances abroad.
The latter issue, in particular, has received attention for some time. Last year, artists Big Faa and STwere refused visas to the UK. Earlier this year, Jali Madi canceled a tour of Europe after some members of his band could not get visas.
In a complaint posted online last year, the artist ENC said: “Government, and your related institutions, can you please listen to the youths and feel their pain? Can we take some professional and genuine steps and get some sort of petition out there? It’s about time, or else it’s gonna be nearly impossible for a Gambian youth to export our country’s name/brand/culture out there in any way.”
Fafadi said the government should help out. “The Gambia is blessed with many talented artists yet they find it very difficult to have visas for international performances. What is the government of the Gambia doing about this? This is a question we should be asking ourselves.
“Gambian music cannot be expected to reach a certain level if musicians are not granted the opportunity to move around the world. Gambian artists are very hard working and their struggle to make a name for the country is visible.
“Now that the awaited time has arrived for them to enjoy their beautiful fruits of labour, embassies must be engaged by the government to give priorities to them. If Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Mali and other African countries are not encountering such difficulties, why the Gambia?”
The award-winning artist also said musicians from the Gambian and Senegal needed to support one another because both countries were like family.
Bakary Ceesay via Music in Africa