Sierra Leone’s Creativity in the Darkest Times

Refugee All Stars -  Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
Refugee All Stars – Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars
Refugee All Stars

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (Docurama Films, 2007)

In recent years a group of musicians from sierra Leone have been traveling throughout the globe. The Refugee All Stars are some of the best musicians from Sierra Leone, who had to flee their country due to a very cruel civil war. The film Sierra Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars is not a live concert on DVD, but rather a documentary about the musicians: how and where they met and their eventual return to their home country.

The passionate film begins with an introduction about the war in Sierra Leone. Disturbing images show the cruelty of the rebels, who cut the limbs of many adults and children. Filmmakers Zack Niles and Banker White show how many Sierra Leoneans had to flee to neighboring Guinea and it was at a refugee camp that two of the musicians met and started collaborating.

Eventually the group added musicians and with the help of United Nations agency UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees), Reuben Koroma, Francis “Franco” Langba, Efuah Grace, Mohammed Bangura, Arahim Kamara and Alhadji “Black Nature” Kamara started touring throughout Guinea, performing at various refugee camps.

Recording sessions came afterwards, which became the group’s debut CD. The highlight of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, however, is when several of the musicians return to the capital of Sierra Leone. Fear, painful memories, and mixed feelings, grip the musicians as they return to their home country. 

Buy Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.