By Ousman Saidykhan
A disagreement between the organisers of Nigerian Superstar Naira Marley and upcoming Gambian Artist Kombonka has ensued after an event clash of dates with both artists set to hold their show on 7th and 8th of January 2022. Kombonka is a Manding Rapper who survived the perilous backway journey. His manager Malang Fatty of GSC Records says this is the third time his event is clashing with International Artists.
The Naira Marley show dubbed “Road to AFCON” is being organised by Gambian international footballer, Lamin Jallow who plays for Intialian Serie B side Vicenza. According to Jallow the show aims to raise funds for Gambian football fans to travel to Cameroon and support the National team at its first-ever African Cup of Nations (AFCON) appearance.
Naira Marley, famous for his hit song “Coming” was initially set to grace Bakau’s Independence Stadium on 2nd January 2022. This is evident in a Naira Marley promotional video informing Gambian fans of the event. However, the Kombonka show “Yalong, Ngalong” has been scheduled for 8th January 2022 at Q-City for months now.
Speaking to Mr Jallow he confirmed that the event was initially planned for 2nd January 2022 but was changed after the artists confirmed he would be performing in Nigeria, on New Year’s Day. This forced organisers to rescheduled the date to 7th January to conclude the show before the start of the AFCON set for January 12th 2022.
This brought the two shows into direct conflict with the two shows now only one day apart.
Upon hearing the news Kombonka’s promoter, international Music Producer, Mr Malang Fatty took to social media to vent his frustration that “once again there is another clash brewing against Kombonka’s album launching. Am going to say this again. Give the youth a chance. This is his big day after 13 years in the industry.”
Kombanka also took to Facebook to ask “why are they always trying to fight us in our own country?”. “I have worked very hard for this show. Anything against it we will not take like [a] joke,” warned the Gambian Manding rapper.
The “Road to AFCON” is now the third event to clash with Kombonka’s debut album lunch. Speaking to Mr Fatty he recalled that the first clash was with Popcaan, a hugely popular Jamaican artist scheduled to perform on the same day as the Kombonka’s Album Launch. However, after engaging the main organiser, Ms Haddy Faye of Absolute Enterainment, the event date was changed to avoid a clash.
The second clash was with Seedy Jobe and similarly they engaged the organisers and the date was changed.
Malang who flew in from the United Kingdom appears very passionate about a successful album launch for his artist Kombonka. In his view their show would be affected if the “Road to AFCON” event holds a day before their event.
“It is not about whether Kombonka and his team are confident or not. The fact is that Naira Marley is a big Artist and he is in high demand in The Gambia. So obviously, if you bring Naira Marley on any day or a day before – it is going to affect any show on that day or the day after because it is the same crowd that will go to Naira Marley – that will go to Kombonka,” Fatty explained.
In an attempt to address the clash Mr Fatty told this medium that he spoke to Mr Jallow and requested for a new date to give the backway returnee a fair chance of holding a successful first Album Launch. In response Jallow explained that they had already paid the artist and agreed on the 7th of January, 2022.
Speaking to our medium, Mr Jallow confirmed that he had already paid the Nigerian artist 50% of his fee.
According to Jallow he had called Kombonka’s Manager to invite the Gambian artist to perform at Naira Marley’s show and receive payment for his performance. In exchange Jallow also recommended that Naira Marley could perform at Kombonka’s Album Launch and that they were willing to buy tickets for Kombonka’s show but their offer was rebuffed by the manager who noted that “no, we don’t need money, we don’t need stuff like that.”
Despite the disagreements, there is still a possibility for the two to come to the negotiation table as Mr Jallow told Gainako that he was ready to dialogue with Kombonka, personally. “I want to talk with Kombonka and look at how to deal with this issue. I don’t intend to jeopardise Kombonka’s show,” he said.