By: Sallu Kamuskay

When I say the future, I mean how do we create a pathway where Sierra Leoneans will be listening to Sierra Leonean songs, watch Sierra Leone music videos which will, in turn, bring money in the pocket of the very entertainers. When I say future, I mean how we as Sierra Leoneans and Africans, in general, have our own type of iTunes or SoundCloud type of platform where other African countries and the rest of the world would be listening to songs done by Sierra Leoneans or Africans. When I say future, I mean where our entertainment industry now has a hub and platform where they read and listen to songs done by Sierra Leoneans and Africans. When I say future, I mean a country where there is only one platform in the world to listen to SL and African songs. When I say future, I mean a gateway to what some refer to as “going international”. When I say international, I mean SL songs would no longer be sent via Whatsapp with no hope of the artistes getting something out of it.  When I say future, I mean when most of the popular entertainers in the entertainment industry embrace and promote local content with the hope of helping themselves and the up and coming entertainers who they have greatly inspired. When I say international, I mean a newfound glory for the up and coming entertainers to sing and gain from what they do.  This is the future I mean.

A friend of mine who is a very famous or should I say popular musician in the entertainment industry did a song that went viral, he sent the song to me and told me to download and listen. After listening to the song, I asked him how can I help through listening to his song, like how can he get paid? He was confused and said, I don’t have an idea. I asked if the song was on YouTube, he told me, yes but he is not making money out of it.  He said if I want to help him I should meet him in person and give him money, I told him it is a small amount and I was in the provinces. He ended up saying ‘’forget nor moh, jus njoy d music’’. The other day, an up and coming artiste did a love song, he sent it to me via WhatsApp. I listen to it, a very nice song, I must confess, I was very impressed and happy seeing how our up and coming entertainers are doing good songs these days. I later asked him the same question of how do I pay him for his effort. For him, he was confused and told me ”frm wey ar begin sing, porsin neba ask mi hw ar dae make korpor”. He told me he had uploaded most of his songs on YouTube and Sound cloud and some of his songs get over 1,000 or more views but this doesn’t reflect in his pocket. Since then, I have been contemplating on how our entertainers earn from their songs. The few questions I asked were: how do they get money to pay their bills? How do they get money to look after their families? How do they get money to even go back to the studio to record new songs? I have been asking myself these questions, seek answers, and cried for help. The reality is, I have never heard of an artist do a nationwide music tour. So how do they make money?

CEO & FOUNDER: Hafiz Alhassan Bakarr Kanu Sr

THE COMING OF AUDIOAFRICA https://audiofrica.com/

When I heard of Audiofrica, a female friend who is an entertainer had joined them and wanted me to listen to her song via the Audioafrica app. I quickly checked the website, I listened to the song. Curiosity looms! I got goosebumps. I wanted to know more about this new platform. I asked my friend the same question I had asked my other friends who sent me their songs via WhatsApp for free. She said, ”I will be paid per stream”. This time, I was happy not only will I listen to her song, but will also share with my friends on social media platforms. Again, knowing fully well that this work was done by a Sierra Leonean and also some few Sierra Leoneans are employed and paid makes me much happier.  I finally found the answer for the superstar and the other up and coming artistes who had both sent me their songs via WhatsApp. I reached out to them that I have found them a platform where they can make money from their God-given talents. I had hope that they will appreciate the idea and grab it with an open heart and hope that they can use this platform to break through the entertainment industry and go international. To my dismay, the first superstar I reached out to told me he is bigger than Audioafrica. For the up and coming artiste, he embraced the idea. He quickly went through the website and created his account and uploaded his songs. Today, his songs are making money for him.

Download audiofrica mobile app on Google Play store here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.audio.frica&hl=en OR visit www.audiofrica.com

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Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean activist, storyteller, and blogger. He was born in Sierra Leone but later relocated to Guinea as a refugee because of the war in his country. Sallu Kamuskay uses his phone to engage on social media, under the name ‘’Salone Messenger’. He Co-Founded the Salone Messenger platform after his experience of the war, Ebola, and injustices. According to him, silence was the root cause of war, and of many social injustices, we continue to face as a nation. In 2013, during the Ebola crisis, Sallu Kamuskay took the risk and volunteered to fight Ebola. He spent some months in both safe and unsafe places; helping the victims and telling their sad stories. The election in 2018, left a divided country with communities fighting on tribal lines. This inspired Sallu Kamuskay to serve as the coordinator of the United Sierra Leone peace concert, which was organized in 4 major parts of the country, targeting violent communities and troubled youth. Sallu Kamuskay led a group of entertainers, activists, and organizations across the country on a peace tour, a program supported by the European Union, United Sierra Leone, Africa Union, ECOWAS, and the Messeh Leone Trust. Sallu Kamuakay has also served as a staff writer for the Hidden Voices Magazine. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below http://ayvnewspaper.com/index.php/k2-categories/item/7350-america-stress-a-hero-to-recognize. Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.

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