In April 2016 Jamie Hitchen, policy researcher at ARI, returned from a visit to Freetown, Sierra Leone with the sounds of Emmerson Bockarie’s latest album, “Survivor”, fresh in his mind. One song in particular “Munku Boss Pan Matches” had captured the imagination of the Freetown residents he met in the city’s bustling centre. With their help, Jamie wrote a short article about the messages in the fifteen minute track, which draws attention to the persistence of what Emmerson asserts is rampant political corruption in Sierra Leone.
On a recent visit to London, Emmerson sat down with Jamie to talk about his country, its corruption problem and the role music can play in raising awareness and changing attitudes.
On “Munku Boss Pan Matches”:
On the problem of the “brown envelope”:
On the power of music:
On the country that shaped him – Sierra Leone:
A message to fellow Sierra Leoneans: