Speaking at a press briefing held yesterday Monday in Freetown, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LAKE Entertainment, Alhaji K. Tarawallie aka LAJ K told newsmen that after spending over One Hundred and Fifty Million Leones (Le150,000,000) on planning the event, LAKE was shocked to be informed on the 11th hour by the Ministry of Sports that the event has been cancelled.
According to LAJ K, the ministry says the event could not hold because the scheduled date, December 24, was occupied with another event.
LAJ K went on to explain that prior to LAKE booking December 24 for its event, it approached the Stadium management and was assured that the date was clear for any event to be held in the Main Bowl but that LAKE should go into partnership with Tangains Entertainment who had already booked for its usual festival on the perimeters of the Stadium.
He said LAKE met with Tangains and reached a Memorandum of Understanding where a percentage was agreed upon to be paid to the latter. The meeting he said ended up in good terms and the date December 24 was marked for LAKE’s event.
The CEO said few days later, after LAKE had commenced its radio and television jingles, it was approached by Tangains with disappointing news that because of Tangains’ alliance with LAKE, the continuity of the Tangains festival has been faced with numerous challenges from the political sphere. He said according to Tangains, the involvement of Emerson in the event has displeased lots of APC politicians who have called on Taingains to discontinue the LAKE Tangains union if they want their event to go on as planned.
For this reason LAJ K went on, the Tangains LAKE union was dissolved and LAKE took another move to individually meet the Sports minister to book the same date.
Again he said the minister cleared them for the date to use the main bowl of the stadium but further advised that Emerson be deleted from the show or alternatively, LAKE and the ministry go into an agreement that Emerson would not be allowed to perform any of his political revolutionary songs on the day of the concert.
The CEO said the minister went on that if Emerson performs any of his political songs at the event it will tell negatively on the popularity of the APC led government, especially when the event would be taking place just few months to the general elections.
Prior to the minister’s assertions LAJ K revealed, he was also approached by Abubakarr Boxx Kamara aka DJ Boxx who also tried to reach similar agreement for LAKE to delete Emerson from the show or stop him from performing political songs at the event but he said the suggestion was turned down completely by LAKE.
The show was supposed to have hosted Emerson, Arkman and Morris as guest artists who were to travel from the USA to Sierra Leone and perform alongside other home base artists.
Emerson as lead performer for the LAKE event is widely known to be one of the few fearless local political revolutionary artists who have not been in the good books of Sierra Leone politicians, especially those in the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and All People’s Congress (APC) Party.
AYV contacted the Minister of Sports, Ahmed Kanu to speak on the cancelation of the event and also the allegations made by LAKE but he refused to comment but rather directed our reporter to speak with the Stadium manager who in turn redirected our reporter to speak with his Public Relations Officer.
Our reporter also made several attempts to get DJ Boxx to respond to the allegations but on to press time, all attempts proved futile.
However, this medium stands ready to hear and publish the sides of the ministry, stadium management and DJ Boxx should any of them decide to comment on the issue and/or allegations made by LAKE Entertainment on our subsequent editions.