Sierra Leone Government Blames Rap Artist Shakur for Violence
by John Munoru
The Sierra Leone an government says opponents in the Revolutionary United Front are inspired by the song of the late African -American rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur.
According to the government more than 100 rebels of the Revolutionary United Front last week raided the northern town of Kukuna, on the border with Guinea, sporting T-shirts bearing Tupac pictures. „We were awaken by sporadic outbursts of gunfire and in no time, we saw fire blazing from residential homes,“ says Isa Kanu a farmer who escaped the attack.
„Never before had we witnessed such a scene. To see young men and women in hundreds, clad in rap T-shirts and descending on this quiet farming town, we grew suspicious.“
These kind of accusation are being used to portray the rebels as cruel and violent.
„The rebels are sending the message that violence and destruction are the key objectives of their rebellion.“ Said John Kanu, political analyst in the Capital Freetown.
According to reports, the raid has prompted the people of Kakuna to embark on an anti-Tupac T-shirt campaign. Anyone sporting the T-shirt is branded a rebel and thus subjected to interrogation or some form of punishment.
A government military official says „Combat uniform is virtually beyond reach of the rebels.“ A military combat uniform costs more than 10 US dollars and is not easily accessible to the rag-tag rebels, so they go for cheap stuffs. In any case, Tupac’s T-shirt perhaps reinforces the rebel love for violence because Tupac is no good role model, anyway.
The current Sierra Leonean government was brought to power by violence and thuggery. It was installed by the Nigerian military backed by the British and American army and personnel and hired mercenaries from all over the world. It was installed at the request of Big Multinational Companies for the Sierra Leonean wealth, especially its Diamonds. Thousands of people were killed in the process. It is not strange that it would want to use Tupac’s image to impress on its American backers.
Tupac was a popular rap artist in US. He was murdered in September 7, 1996 in a drive-by-shooting. The American media used the occasion to blame rap music for this violent murder. The New York Post wrote an accusatory column with a photo of the late artist with a caption: „Tupac Shakur: a loser’s culture.“ An article in the September 17,1996 Wall Street Journal described Shakur as a „thug rapper.“ It referred to rappers , Shakur , Biggie Smalls, Snoop Doggy Dog, and other as criminals. „As the saying goes if you lie down with Dogg, you get up with fleas.“
The US police usually target rap artists as criminals and gangsters.