Hip-hop musical icon, Kao Denero apologizes to all Sierra Leoneans for activities during his rally

“…I want the way forward for a new direction”

By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya

Popular musical icon in the music industry in Sierra Leone has apologized to all Sierra Leoneans for the ugly incident that took place on 5th April 2013. He also took the opportunity to call on the Authority in Sierra Leone especially the Sierra Leone Police to come into compromise and schedule another date for the launching of his album titled “Back To My Root”.


It could be recalled that Amara Denis Turay (aka) Kao Denero of the Black Leo Family was about to launch his back to my root album at the National Stadium on 6th April 2013 when it was cancelled by the Sierra Leone Police  as a result of violence  allegedly perpetuated by fans of Kao Denero. The rally was done on the eve of the show, which provided the opportunity for day-light-thieves to have carted away properties of petty traders, shops burgled and some innocent Sierra Leoneans beaten on the streets.

Kao Denero has accepted blame and takes responsibility of all that happened. At a Press Conference held last Friday 12th April 2013, victims of the rally gave testimonies of how they brutalized and made known their minds on what they experienced and seen on that fateful day.

Excerpt of Kao’s statement and apology

“Foremost, let me register my sincere apology to the people of Sierra Leone and to all those who were affected during the musical rally. I want to sincerely register my deepest regret and apologies to both the Government and people of Sierra Leone who may have been affected by this incident or otherwise who may have been offended by statements or comments made following the incident.

I would like to inform and make it known that in no uncertain terms-that I can’t, condon violence or thuggery. It is most regrettable that this has happened   and innocent people have suffered. I acknowledge and apologize for the distress caused by this incident.

Let me state that our music rally on Friday, 5th April 2013 was approved and spearheaded by the Sierra Leone Police. We received a permit and told the routes that we should rally on and the convoy was led by the Police. The police recommended 150 officers to man the convoy to which we accepted and paid the complete amount.

I come from a very humble background, my father was an Airport staff and mother a local clerk. The war took a lot from us and made some of us a refugee in neighboring Guinea for several years. I know how difficult life can be for people who are struggling and working hard to meet their basic needs. I will not be a party to any group or activity that will negatively affect the lives of innocent citizens. This ugly situation was caused by a small misguided and foolish group of youths that infiltrated and hijacked the purpose of our peaceful event with the objective of messing up my programme

Individual act of looting and robbery, resistance to authority and violence against persons, disregard for lives and properties are not the focus and determination of Black Leo, nor was it the purpose of organizing the rally. It is important that we attune our consciences to ‘law and order’. ‘If we propagate a system of disregard we are acting outside the boundaries of law and order.


Despite all the pains that innocent victims have suffered and endured, notwithstanding, we have to believe and work out ways of accepting each other and acknowledge our wrong-doing and put the common good above personal interest.

To the affected victims, I vow to fight for their rights and I will work with them to chase the gangs and bring them to justice. I have declared an all-out war on gangs and gang culture.

It’s my goal to pursue these gangs- bring them to justice, in order to prevent a recurrence of similar conflict. I will also work to transform the mindset of those young people and the unemployed who are engaged in criminal activities.

The surest way of eliminating gangs is to ensure that children and young people never want or feel the need to join them. To this end we need to tackle issues in our society and seek to nurture and support strong families and stronger communities.

I have already established a Foundation called “Mama Nor Dae Na Hose Pikin” to address the plight of young people   and provide educational support to children.

Furthermore, I will set up a project in an effort to raise public awareness to help prevent conflict and end the gang culture. I will use my talents and the arts towards community cohesion, justice and protection of vulnerable people in Sierra Leone, in my capacity as a peace ambassador working alongside the United Sierra Leone Initiative.

Differences can bring conflict, confusion, and uncertainty, which can make us feel left out in society, create and lead to an uncontrollable situation. One way of embracing these differences is through conversation and   positive actions, through connecting with each other, through understanding where the other is coming from, stepping into their shoes, and assuming that each person has something to offer. This will form the basis of my new leadership approach, which will make use of facilitation, collaboration and participation.

History shows that mountains can be moved when small groups of people     mobilize, work together and take positive action. We need a change in attitude to enable us move beyond politics, race, class and creed. We have many Sierra Leoneans who are making a difference, both in the Sierra Leone and abroad. Each of us can make a difference. Individuals can initiate projects with their colleagues to achieve a common goal and help build a better Sierra Leone.

  1. I will work with the Police to maintain law and order. I will continue to preach the gospel of peace and non-violence.
  2. I will work with all everyone who may have been affected and ensure that they secure justice.
  3.  I will employ an independent security firm and work closely with the police and other security agencies to ensure that future event is violence free.
  4. I will not allow any gang   member to be admitted into the event and reckless dressing or behavior will not be allowed.
  5. I will work for peace and a United Sierra Leone and build bridges with all people including my brothers and sisters in the music Industry.

I do hope we can put this most regrettable incident behind us and move forward as allies and partners.Let me thank the United Sierra Leone Initiative for the opportunity offered to me to engage some of the victims that are directly affected and to work together for justice, security and peace for all.

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