OKOROJI, NIGERIA'S COPYRIGHT LEADER SPARKS CREATIVE REVOLUTION IN LIBERIA
Thursday, February 20, 2014 may go down as a historic day for all artistes and creative people in Liberia. That was the day they all gathered at Monrovia's Providence Island to jointly sign a document which in many ways may start a revolution for the music, movie, literary and other creative undertakings in Liberia.
The document termed the Monrovia Declaration was loudly affirmed by the different artistes gathered at Providence Island after the draft had been read by the President of the Cultural Union of Liberia, Mr. Kerkula Kamara. Providence Island is the historic place where freed slaves from America first landed upon migration from the United States to Liberia.
The Monrovia Declaration is a major product of the one week visit to Liberia of Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), author of Copyright & the New Millionaires and one of Africa's best known Intellectual Property change agents.
Chief Okoroji had earlier held a two day workshop for the diverse Liberian creative community at the YMCA hall in Monrovia at which the artistes of Liberia voted in unity to eschew all forms of bickering and work together to change the place of creative people in the Liberian society.
Accompanied by Mr. Ernie Bruce, Officer in Charge of the Liberian Copyright Office, Chief Okoroji visited the streets of Liberia where he saw hundreds of thousands of copies of pirated Nigerian works in open display. He sent a warning to those engaged in music and movie piracy in Liberia that their days are numbered.
At Providence Island, Chief Okoroji was feted with singing and dancing and decorated with a robe by the artistes of Liberia and given the title of Chief Jallah-Lon, meaning the Lion King. He promised unrelenting support to the Liberian creative community in its desire to take its rightful place on the continent.
Before Leaving Liberia, Chief Okoroji met with the Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia, Mrs. Chigozie Obi-Nnadozie who expressed great happiness at the work being done in Liberia by Chief Okoroji and sought co-operation in ensuring substantial Nigerian investment in Liberia. Chief Okoroji also met with Ambassador Tunde Ajisomo, Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS to Liberia at which meeting discussions were held on how the ECOWAS structure in the sub-region can be used to wage an effective war against piracy and other forms of copyright infringement across the sub-region.
The COSON Chairman also inaugurated an anti-piracy task force made of artistes from various societies and charged them to redeem that which had been considered lost by the Liberian creative community. Among the many stars who came out to welcome Chief Okoroji to Liberia were well known Liberian singers Miatta Fanbuleh and Zack Roberts.
Reacting to the developments, foremost Liberian musician and producer, Mr. Tony Karbedeh said, 'I am very proud of Chief Tony's visit to Liberia and his interaction with the artistic community. He has brought us together and brought us hope. Suddenly the train which engine appeared to have knocked is once again on the move'
As tribute to the inspiring message brought by Chief Okoroji to Liberia, Mr. Karbedeh urged all creative people in Liberia to put away their differences, unite, join the train and join the revolution.