In an interview with a cross-section of hip hop artists, (male and female); they all spoke on the need for young people to be capacitated by the state to gain education and employment in order to escape from the clutches of poverty and social and economic marginalization. Many of them lamented that they resorted to singing music because jobs are elusive in the formal wage sector.
This, Rap G representing the hip hop community in Grafton said is because over the years the education system focused too much on a pyramid- like education system that saw many youths that are talented but not highly intellectually-inclined dropping out of school.
“Going forward,” he said, “the emphasis should shift heavily towards vocational and technical education, including the arts, crafts and entertainment.”
In the absence of formal wage jobs, youth have found innovative ways to express and exploit their talents and capabilities in music and entertainment, he added.
Daniel Fofanah – stage name Nelfun De Mayor is a rapper/singer/song-writer based in Waterloo. He described himself as an Afro Hip Hop musician that draws his motivation from the likes of Lucky Dube, Bob Marley, Kao De Nero and Sarkodie. Nelfun De Mayor has released 3 albums and was part of the 2017 Makeni versus Waterloo Musical Competition held at the Med Porsh Complex.
He drew attention to the many dysfunctional homes that today’s youths come from. “Lack of proper family structures that provide a conducive environment for growth and development,’ he said is another key issue that today’s generation face. Because of early and teenage pregnancy, he stated that, many children are illegitimate and grow up on the streets or with foster parents who pay little or no attention to them. Many children grow up without a father figure, he added and this he attributed to the high incidence of lawlessness, crime and violence in the society.
He spoke of the negative mind-set of youths from dysfunctional backgrounds. This, he said, makes them lack motivation for anything but drugs; idleness, laziness and crime in order to survive. “They spend the whole day sitting in drug joints lambasting the government and everybody for their situation; failing to realize they can make it better by sheer effort and determination.
Abdul Razak Kanu “Arkman” said he wants to see an end to rape and violence against women, especially domestic violence, which First Lady Fatima Bio has launched a crusade against, can be tackled.
He stated that women too have human rights that include access to education, health, income, justice, political and economic participation if not to remain marginalized and down-trodden.
By Ranger: Calabash Newspaper