Disc Jockey, CEO, now film producer: Sierra Leone’s DJ Boxx on local entertainment

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AbuBakarr “Dj Boxx” Conteh

DJ Boxx is arguably the most recognizable name in Sierra Leone’s local music industry. The radio disc jockey turned CEO of Boxx Productions brought  international acts like P-Square, and Akon. He also makes popular music. Abu-Bakarr ‘Boxx’ Conteh says that his company is now ready to take on the movie industry.

He made this disclosure in an exclusive interview with Swit Salone at his Freetown residence. Boxx first started out with KallBoxx Records a business he co-founded with soccer star Mohamed Kallon. He disclosed that since he entered the music scene he has invested an estimated $200,000 in the promotion of local artists.

Now on his own with Boxx Production the company’s first feature film is set for release in December of this year. Boxx says that entertainment runs in his family.

“My father owned a disco club at the age of 21; my elder brother Salam Conteh, is owner of Traxx and The Village at the Lumley Beach; and DJ Yousef in the USA, is my brother,” he said, reiterating further “through them I learned so much in the entertainment industry and with my education and exposure in the USA, I am now doing something of my own to help in the development of Sierra Leone.”

Boxx Production has many arms. It is a music and  event management company, a record label and also produces Sierra Leone Music Television (SLMTV) an entertainment TV program.

“We hope to thrill the nation with a classic Sierra Leonean movie that will depict the social and economic lifestyles of the people,” he said.

“It will be a movie to change the perception of our young people as well as portraying the good things we have in the country to the wider world,” he said.

Many of the nation’s most succesful artists have passed through him.

“Daddy Saj, X-Project, Jungle Leaders, K-Man, DX3, Lady Felicia, Shade Baby, Alonzo and many others were my men,” he said proudly. “This is the reason I am doing what I am doing now. It makes me feel happy when I contribute to the life of others.”

He said through these guys many other Sierra Leoneans are now benefiting. He also said that the entertainment industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing businesses in the world with people from all walks of life making their living through it.

“This is what I want for my country (Sierra Leone) and I wish to see more of our young people to grow and be contributors to the country’s socio-economic development,” he said.

He however frowned at those people who swindle money from others in the guise of ‘U borbor day O’. Boxx says that he believes that “it is better to train someone than make him/her a dependent person”.

“I expect that when I help someone he also helps another,” he said.

Sierra Leone can boast of having the best talent potentials in Africa and that what is needed to polish their potentials is education and exposure.

Considering the role of the government towards developing the entertainment industry in the country, Boxx said he believed that the government has done well.

“The passing of the Piracy Act is a boost to the entertainment industry and what we now need to ensure the law benefits us all is unity, professionalism and a structured entertainment industry in Sierra Leone.”

He also said he believes that government will continue to help the development of the industry if artists in Sierra Leone put together a package for the purpose of government’s consideration, but stated further “Most so called stakeholders in entertainment in the country have no investment in the industry.”

Reflecting to his home town, Boxx said his 42 household Magbele Ferry means everything to him and that he is presently working towards the building of a secondary school, a mosque as well as finishing a hospital that was started by the late Alhaji Musa Kabia.

By Alpha B. Kamara