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Visa problem: Jali Madi cancels European tour


Gambia’s Afromanding singer Jali Madi has cancelled his European tour due to circumstances beyond his team’s control.

Jali Madi was booked to perform in Belgium at the Sfinks Mixed Festival on 26 July, where he was to share the same stage with Oumou Sankare, Sona Jorbateh, Charly Black and other acts. From there, he planned to play in various venues across Europe.

The plan was altered as Jali Madi’s team ran into some problems. “Instrumentalists in my band were having problems with their visas,” he told local media.

“The embassy did not trust them to give them visas. And I don’t want to travel alone without my band because I always want to play live instead of playback.

“My management team in Europe said they will appeal the decision to enable the instrumentalists in my band get visas for us to get the tour started soon. As I speak, we have lots of bookings in Scandinavian countries.”

Jali Madi’s problem is not new as Gambian acts have complained about visa refusals for some time. Last year, after another case, Gambian act ENC complained on social media.

“Government, and your related institutions, can you please listen to the youths and feel their pain?” he asked. “Can we take some professional and genuine steps and get some sort of petition out there?

“It’s about time, or else it’s gonna be nearly impossible for a Gambian youth to export our country’s name/brand/culture out there in any way.”

Nothing has been done since then, as on 20 July, a press release from Jali Madi’s label revealed that the tour would not take place.

“SangaRanga Recordz wishes to inform all fans and followers of Jali Madi that his long-awaited European Tour 2018 has been cancelled due to circumstances that are beyond our control,” it said.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident and we apologise to you our loyal fans especially those that are residing in the intended countries we [were] scheduled to play. Man proposes and God decides.”

The label then announced upcoming delights for their fans. “Meanwhile watch out for our future projects that include major performances in the coming months and an international album launch on 18 February 2019. [There are] big surprise international artists to be featured.”

Authored by Bakary Ceesay, Music Africa

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