The secrets of Ecofest – Kabaka tells all (Exclusive Interview)

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Two concerts will happen at the national stadium in November but here is the one that you want to know about. This is Ecofest brought to you by Kabaka, the man who is trying to re-brand Sierra Leone by bringing Africa’s biggest acts to his motherland.

Speaking in an exclusive interview to Swit Salone, Abu Bakarr ‘Kabaka’ Turay, lawyer, and entrepreneur says fans should get ready for the revolution that will take place on November 30 at the National Stadium.

Born in Daru in Kailahun District this music man attended the Albert Academy. He has a great passion for music, art, literature and poetry. Kabaka means King.

Why does Sierra Leone need a platform like Ecofest Music Festival?

We need Ecofest to give the Sierra Leone entertainment industry the visibility it deserves. Our musicians are never invited or called to big stages around the world or even Africa. Unlike our Ghanaian, Nigerian or even Senegalese counterparts, our music and artists remain unknown on the continent.

And why is that so important?

Ecofest creates bridge  between the artists that have arrived and those who are still struggling to make an impact with their music. Sharing the stage with Africa’s best known acts will shed a light on many other talents. It builds relationships and opens the door to music production collaboration. 

The essence of Ecofest is to give Sierra Leonean artists a competitive edge. No other neighboring country has created such a big umbrella event for African artists. I believe by using this platform, the world will pay attention to us and by extension our songs will start crossing boundaries.

Do you feel like Sierra Leone has accepted and embraced Ecofest since it was launched in 2018?

Yes, they have and a huge part of that is because they trust the KME brand. KME has been a success story as far as Sierra Leone entertainment is concerned. We have changed the narrative of how people look at entertainment. The fans were very spirited and they came out in their numbers to support us last year and we know they will do the same this year. 

What we some of the issues Ecofest had to deal with last year?

We did not manage our time well and as a result of that some of the international acts were unable to perform. As am talking now we have the running order of who should come on stage and at what time. How many minutes an artists is to perform on stage or how long an introduction should take for an artist.

There was also some security agents who recycled tickets which lead to the overflow of the national stadium.

There were also some issues with sponsors who did not come through in terms of their support as promised but thank God for growth. Every loss is a lesson and we learn fast. 

What have you as a brand done to avert crisis this year?

This year we delegated and shared duties and responsibilities. My work is specifically one of promotion and getting people to attend.

Cribs International is responsible for the sound systems; they have the best sound system in the sub region. They are also responsible for the stage and generator. There are two backup generators that have been made available for the show.

Empire Entertainment will be responsible for the production.

In terms of security we have hired a private security company and a team of bouncers that will be responsible for the artists and outside the gate. It is safe to say Ecofest is completely secured this year because we learn from our mistakes.