Following the trend of African artists before him and artists to come, Amara Denis Turay, better known as Kao Denero, is merging hip hop music with the current events of his country. The Sierra Leonean musician and Peace Ambassador released “Fresh Face” in light of the highly anticipated election of 2018. The song features Del Vaqyo, an artist Denero discovered, and is a commentary on the necessity of new leadership in Sierra Leone.
The song features politically charged lyrics that emphasize Denero’s passion about changing the state of Sierra Leone. In late 2017, Denero publicly endorsed the campaign of the Ex- UNIDO Boss and former Chairman of UN Energy – Dr. Kandeh Yumkella. Denero is deeply troubled by the increase in youth unemployment and and beleives that Yumkella’s business background and vision can change the course of the country.
The video contains many clips from speeches that Dr. Yumkella has given, but the last excerpt is perhaps the most thought provoking.
“We’re probably the sixth largest deposit of iron ore, one of the purest deposits of titanium and diamonds bought. But they are the poorest, among the poorest five countries and ebola decimated them. Why would a guy like having a good career decide to pick up a challenge like that? Well if I don’t do it maybe the wrong people will. And If I don’t go there and call you guys together and say let’s tranform the lives of 6 million people, if everything you’ve said about clean energy is true, I will go in and become president I will create the energy. You come and invest and we show one case where the sustainable development goal on enrgy was achieved.”
Yumkella and Denero have similar visions in creating a self- sustaining Sierra Leone. The goal is not to allow foreign entities to enforce neo-colonialism. Denero is using his music as a platform to mold the minds of his people. Fresh Face is a call to action for the government and the ctizens. As Africans, we must be accountable for ourselves and our prosperity. If we continue to wait for others to uplift us and fix our problems, we will wait ourselves into perpetual self-destruction.