by Kolapo Olapoju
Highlife singer, Flavour, has been dropped from the 18th edition of the ‘World Creole Music Festival’, in the Dominican Republic.
Flavour and his band were billed to perform at the annual music festival alongside Congolese band, Soukous Stars.
Roosevelt Skerrit, the Prime minister announced the removal of Flavour from the concert bill on Thursday, 9 October, saying that the decision was necessitated by the presence of Ebola virus in West Africa.
According to Skerrit, the decision was taken “out of abundance of caution.”
“Until a firm grip is secured on this Ebola virus, the world has to pay special attention to region of its predominance. West Africa, as I said previously, is once such region. I have reviewed the file with respect to the contractual arrangements entered into with the Flavour band out of Nigeria. To date a total of EC$147,000 has been expended on professional fees and international travel by this group. Accordingly, purely out of an abundance of caution, I have today instructed the organizers of the 18 annual WCMF to meet with officials of the relevant legal departments of government to determine among themselves how a matter of renegotiation of a Flavour contract can be entered into,” he said.
Meanwhile, Soukous Stars, will still get to perform, due to the fact that they are not based in Africa and its 8 members are travelling into Dominican Republic from New York, Montreal and Paris.
Skerrit said, “I am also informed that members of this band, Soukous Stars, have not travel within recent times to regions severely impacted by the Ebola virus. Given the heightened nature of screening in their country of residence, they can be characterized as low risk in the context of the emerging global threat of Ebola. That group therefore is not of special concern to me or my government in the context of the Ebola threat at this time.”
The Prime Minister also added that Flavour would be invited at next year’s edition of the world creole music festival, if the spread of the Ebola virus disease had been halted.
“Indeed, I would love if, by this time next year, the Ebola virus could have been brought under control, if not eradicated; regions around the world cleared of the threat of the virus, and entertainers, such as Flavour, could visit and perform in Dominica. This indeed would be my wish for the outcome of the discussions that will be entered into,” he added.