By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
What is #IAmNot4Sale?
#IAmNot4Sale is a campaign initiated by Red Entertainment and AfroCulture to highlight the slavery of Africans in Libya. The campaign uses music to spread the message that nobody is for sale and schedules concerts to raise funds for Gambian returnees, currently benefiting from training with the long-term aim of supporting them in sustainable business ventures. The first concert was organised on February 4th, 2018 and the next concert will be in Paris France on March 25th.
#IAmNot4Sale Song Challenge
As part of the #IAmNot4Sale campaign, Red Entertainment artist S. Rise released a single to raise awareness of the need for more Africans to become engaged in the struggle. In an Interview with Interface Gambia TV, speaking at the first fundraiser concert in Camden, S. Rise explains how the #IAmNot4Sale song challenge started. “On the 29th of November, me, Red from Red Entertainment and Caro Sika from AfroCulture, we went outside the Libyan Embassy and unfortunately only 200 people were there. That really touched me, when the news came out, that really touched me what was going on in Libya. So I thought I need to do something. And I asked them what do you think if we start an #IAmNot4Sale challenge, they just embraced the idea straight away. From there I recorded the track, I did a video for it.”
Since then three songs have been released to date by artists in the UK and The Gambia. K9, Omid Widom and Killa Ace have all released a video which can be accessed on youtube. More artists are set for release in the coming weeks so watch this space. The tracks will be available for free download at the #IAmNot4Sale website.
- S. Rise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzXREIQ8Cfs
- K9 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFUTsurcgVw
- Omid Wisdom – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_JZ5qcCM24
- Killa Ace – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyNIo7HDR1U&t=2s
More than Music
Speaking at the first fundraiser event at Camden S. Rise explains why they are doing the event to raise funds for Gambian returnees. “I was invited for a show in Gambia in December and in Gambia I had the chance with Red Entertainment, she’s my manager we had a chance to speak to some of the returnees and we got to understand really on a deeper level what’s needed.
Yes going outside the Embassy and doing a Protest is good but what we can do to actually help our brothers and sisters to be self-sufficient and not having this idea of coming to Europe. So we decided alongside the song challenge to do some fundraising event to help the returnees to start training courses so they can get life skills to be sustainable.”
Currently, #IAmNot4Sale is supporting Gambian Returnees from Libya. Some of which are closely affiliated with the organisation Youth Against Irregular Migration. In February #UKGambia made significant progress in engaging public officials to raise awareness of the existence of the campaign and to identify collaboration opportunities. Being based in the United Kingdom, two introductory meetings was organised earlier this week with The Gambian High Commissioner and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
On March 25th there will be an #IAmNot4Sale concert in France followed by a big concert in The Gambia in April. In May and June, there will be concerts in London Brixton and in Manchester to raise more funds for Gambian Returnees. Although #IAmNot4Sale currently supports Gambian Returnees there will always be a debate as to who should be supported? Should #IAmNot4Sale support Gambian Returnees or should the support be allocated for Gambian Youths inside the country who have not embarked on the illegal route?
One thing for sure is that #IAmNot4Sale is playing its part to raise awareness of the inhumane treatment of Africans in Libya and supporting Gambian Returnees. How best this can be done will depend on how much support they can gather. If Gambians can take advantage of this initiative to ensure it is maximised, that will help the unemployment situation. If not there is no reason why #IAmNot4Sale campaign could not offer support to another African country facing the same challenges.
The #IAmNot4Sale Website will be unveiled this Sunday