#Conundrum, #earth, #KamandaKoroma, #love, #sierra-leone, #tourism, Art, Blogger, Blogging, Drizilik, Music, Uncategorized

Shukubly: Manifesto of a SaLone Artist by Marco Koroma


Marco Koroma takes the wheel for this journey with a guest feature article on the zeitgeist of the Sierra Leone music scene.

The influence of art in the Sierra Leonean society is undeniable. From the hit songs that outline the “maps” in December to the kontri klos that offers the pride of nativity, the arts have always shaped and reflected, the Sierra Leonean society. But, ironically, in Sierra Leone, and in most African countries, this crucial piece of society’s fabric is reserved for those who could not “make it” in life.

In 2018, Sierra Leonean Afro-Rap artiste, Drizilik, released his much-anticipated project, Shukubly. In the opening track, also titled Shukubly, is a prologue to a project that reflects the beauty and struggles of the Sierra Leonean society (let’s keep this for another blog post), and on its own is a beautifully crafted manifesto by a true SaLone artist.

The fine and performing arts have always served as an outlet for many, and our society appreciates it as long it is “on the side” or a hobby, being a full-time artist anywhere is tough, but the devaluing of Art in Sierra Leone has eroded the pride that comes with being an artist.

Drizilik confronts this notion by opening Shukubly, both song and project, with a declaration. A declaration by an artist who has dedicated time to harnessing his skills and mastering his craft, and he is aware that he treads the road not taken; an artiste with a vision and a purpose.

“A tek dis tin sirios ivin if na fun to all
A suppose for de hammer a nor bon for fall
ivin if success nor return mi call
If A ever turn back a go turn to salt”

These bars are repeated on “Aw Ar Lef Os”, making it clear that they are thought out and repeated to let his audience and fellow artists know that even though some may consider this “thing” a joke, he is dedicated to and passionate about his craft. Drizilik goes a step further to make known his intention to succeed, and he compares quitting to the catastrophe that befell Lot’s wife.

“Noto pan boku tok
Yu fil se na fulish fo le man dem rich dis far”

In a time where mediocrity abounds, few have gone against the grain to put in the required effort to achieve their goals, but when your goals don’t align with the norm you’re ostracized and considered foolish, by both the mediocre and exceptional, for putting so much effort into a lowly craft.

Two sold-out shows, an international tour, and endorsements by corporations, will we still consider Benjamin George foolish for pursuing his dreams? Some may only see the current shine and ignore the zeal and zest it takes to gain acclaim in any field, the art being no different.

“Hustle for the paper so we earn inna the shukubly

Remuneration is an integral part of the equation. The need for money cannot be overemphasised. Sierra Leoneans may enjoy and love art, but the culture of paying for art is not encouraged. Most artists have been stifled by the need for a sustainable income, yet some have found the balance; maintaining a 9-5 whilst being a full-time artist (shout out to Prodigy, Freetown’s Finest). Creating sublime content is expensive, and passion and zeal can only take an entrepreneur so far. Drizilik in this manifesto makes it crystal clear that his art is his hustle, and he should earn from it, so should every artist producing standard content.

“Sky-rising lekke sun inna the shukubly
Watch you neba noto fun inna the shukubly
Kukujumuku wi de ban inna the shukubly
Help you brother if you can inna the shukubly”

In Sierra Leone, the phenomenon of giving back to society is neither propagated nor appreciated. Drizilik recognises his success and that of some of his peers, so he implores artists and audiences in the shukubly to give a helping hand as they make their ascent to success.

Collaborations are also a medium of giving back or lending a helping hand, yet they are so underrated in our contemporary; we need more artists from diverse fields collaborating to give us a blend we cannot fathom. I hope this means we will see more collaborations from Ben 10 over 10.

“Ben 10 over 10 na di shukubly
If yu look inside me heart na di shukubly”

I believe the shukubly is a metaphor for many things, but my favourite is SaLone. Over the years many Sierra Leoneans have left for greener pastures, but only a handful have returned to make good the diabolic system that forced them out. But, if home is where the heart is then Sierra Leone is where Drizilik’s heart is. Like every human, his instincts may lead him to search for fertile ground, but he assures us that his heart will lead him home:

“Wi go go bɔt wi always kam bak/Leke se wi fɔget sɔmtin na di shukubly”

Sierra Leoneans are no strangers to manifestos, but we are yet to witness a manifesto upheld and its promises fulfilled (shout out to the red lorry and the green lorry). As a fan, I appreciate Drizilik’s sincerity on Shukubly, but being a luminary to a generation with no genuine hero his word is dear, and the expectation might be overwhelming. As an artist, I consider this manifesto a challenge to improve and elevates the standards of the arts.

So in whichever corner of the shukubly, you find yourself –

“One time for your mind na di shukubly”

Written by Marco Koroma

-Marco Koroma is a content developer and an art curator.

Check out PoyoPapi (@Marco_Krm): https://twitter.com/Marco_Krm?s=08

-Check out the album of Benjamin aka Drizilik on http://smarturl.it/Listenshukubly and follow his Twitter on https://twitter.com/drizilik?s=08

#Conundrum, #earth, #KamandaKoroma, #love, #lust, #nature, #sierra-leone, #the human-condition, Art, Blogging, Uncategorized

Cancer.


Dawn has a hymn

It sounds like water greased in a piano played by crickets.

Don’t ask me what I mean, only God knows.
Even when I wake up early, lately I feel like i’m still dreaming

Sleep on that thought, I’ll come back to it if my amnesia doesn’t remember me to forget.

So I was on a bed;

disoriented, lingering hangover whilst my brain was stitching last night’s memories.

I sat up, I gazed at a familiar stranger in the sheets,

was this my home or hers?
These days I can’t tell.

This Bad Cancer Tho…

Its her place, the tell tale sheets figure it out.

Next thought; usai me phone day? My hands rove under the bedspread and I remember with a slight giggle,

way me korkoh padi say some too cheap for call sheets.
I mean the sheets, not her

But fuck it…

Who go know baing?

So my hands were busy searching for my kori kori fone,

they dance and trace over the maps of her skin which I laid claimed and made conquest to yester-night.

I let my hands linger in the soft crevices.

Lord forgive me,

you forgave David and blessed Solomon.

I’m just a lowkey conquerer with no land to call home.

Other ego laced thoughts butt in like.

Did I win here?

Or did my strokes come fast first like Usain.

No time to dwell on that.

I find my phone.

Destination: Jump go WhatsApp

Eyes scan what and who to reply…

Fuck a two blue tics..

so I switch my data off and read,

a recipe for future denials to say,

‘ I never saw your message’.

With a sly chuckle in my head that I feel within that dark half stone muscle I call a heart.

I feel alive;macho like a mexican cartel Boss yet dead inside.

All whites gone…cocoa leaf broke, unsaintly.

This Bad Cancer Tho…

She awakens, I know.

I feel her before I hear the yawns tasting where she had my madinka snake in,

Such a crude thought imagery, mama forgive me , you raised me to be a decent gent but I fell off.

I smell her before her hands reach the nape of my neck,

my Bvlgari cologne is all over her,

the hint of whiskey she drank from my red cup scintillates around her too.

She says GM.

Funny she doesnt call the words , just ,G M.

I, L O L within.

Even better i’mma eat her breakfast and go home,

with my raspy growl I replied with a smile that I am good.

‘Me man get for kam soon o’,she says.

‘So no eat nr day for me’, I respond.

‘Eat day but oda tem now ‘she says with a wry smile dancing on her lips

‘Ok…i’ll sapp you’ I say.

I don’t plan to or maybe I will.
This Bad Cancer Tho..

So here I was..

Under a drenching downpour of rain that makes one think of coupling pairs heading into Noah’s ark.

and Me ;

As the day breaks tinap day bell okada man for balance police na corner corner and promise for add 5grand ontop d money at 6am.

So dawn, does sing a tune,

only, its different to who we are when it saunters in, and where we are when it arrives.

The sunrise isn’t always warm.

So yeah, maybe, strong memories do override that amnesia I mentioned earlier.

So here I am a lost soul who found solace on a misty night only to be cast in the storm at dawn to wallow.

Sleep on that.

Judge me or don’t.

Just blame it on…
That Bad Cancer Tho.

#Conundrum

#Conundrum, #Hate, #love, #lust, #poem, #poetry, #sierra-leone, #sierra-leone literature, #the human-condition, #thoughts, Art, Uncategorized

Ramblings


The curse of knowing outweighs the bliss of ignorance,

this deep vault of mine overfills with confidante memories hoping for an Obliviate spell that never seem to come.

Summoning the will to wear that smile is a miracle that I’ve come to see as ordinary

Loki got nothing on me with his mask,

I got them galore like these emojis.
On some days, I stare at my reflection seeing a stranger gazing back.

Broadway needs me

Hamilton could do with a new cast member, I come highly recommended by Pence.

These days I am increasingly fueled by a raging desire to overprice depressed thoughts

Or get lost in the flow of books in the jungle of Amazon.

Nothing is real, ebooks leave me thirsty

I miss the smell of pages

their wrinkled edges and the torn covers that tells me it’s earlier readers validate it’s dopeness

I miss them all.

Even my Red Devil’s trident is broken,

so when I finally drown to the depths of my reverie, I may ask Poseidon for another

and stab Mourinho with it
Or I may not..

Until that next bourbon shot …

I’ll leisurely swim in these rambling and crazed thoughts of mine.

#Conundrum