Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Scratchylus: Jammeh gave me diplomatic passport

“I promise I will be a good ambassador of The Gambia in the Diaspora and will maintain the credibility, trust and confidence the president have in me,” Scratchylus told local journalists. (Photo Credit: Jamaican Observer)
Jamaican singer, Scratchylus, has revealed President Yahya Jammeh has given him a Gambian diplomatic passport. 
He also told journalists that Jammeh has given him the Gambia name Sainey Jammeh and his daughter Empress Reggae is now knows as Awa Jammeh.

The singer said he has composed a new song for President Jammeh called “grow what you eat and eat what you grow” – a usual phrase that Jammeh uses almost daily in his call on Gambian to “go back to the land” and food sufficiency plans. 

Scratchylus said the new song and video is to show appreciation and to give back to Jammeh for his recognition and effort in giving him a “Gambian diplomatic passport.”

He, Jamaican singer Sizzla Kalonji and poet and songwriter Mutabaruka (also given diplomatic passports according to Scratchylus) were in Banjul to partake in the May 9-17 International Roots Festival 2014 that was hosted by The Gambia government.

This is the first time ever I feel as a first class citizen and [I] am treated like a first class citizen,” he told local journalists. “I promise I will be a good ambassador of The Gambia in the Diaspora and will maintain the credibility, trust and confidence the president have in me.”

Erykah Badu (Photo Credit: Wikipedia user Radiobums)
He said of his songs: “My music is about ‘resetting the mindset’ and educating the people on new things.”

Gambian pressure groups abroad have set in motion a campaign targeted at foreign musicians by discouraging them not to perform in the West African country at the invitation of the president or his government – citing human rights violations.

American singer Erykah Badu decided against coming to The Gambia to take part in the 11th roots festival a few days to the event. Diaspora Gambians had used the microblogging website, Twitter, to encourage her not to come. 

It is not clear if that was the reason for her conspicuous absence amid high expectations of the singer’s supposed presence, but the Diaspora Gambians believe so. The Gambia government linked her absence to what it called “unforeseen circumstances".

But in April, popular Senegalese singer and politician Youssou N’Dour ignored criticisms and defied calls not to perform in a fundraiser organised by the government’s housing agency, the SSHFC. 

Written by Modou S. Joof

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