Buduburam CD Project

Giving Voice to Hope: Music of Liberian Refugees

Giving Voice to Hope: Music of Liberian Refugees

Project Overview

The University of Alberta has a long and rich history of partnerships in Africa. A number of faculties along with University of Alberta International supported initiatives in Ghana that involved the University of Ghana, a rural Ghanaian village, and Buduburam Refugee Settlement.

Buduburam was a Liberian refugee camp located west of Ghana's capital, Accra. The first refugees arrived in 1990 and the UN High Commission for Refugees helped provide shelter for thousands of people who fled Liberian civil wars. The camp was home to over 40,000 inhabitants.

The University of Alberta walked alongside this community as its members returned to Liberian society.

The Music

Popular music emerged within Buduburam Refugee Settlement, responding to musical inclinations of residents and the need to express individual and collective experiences of displacement, loss, reconciliation, and peace.

The University of Alberta, in a cooperative multi-faculty initiative involving faculty, staff, and students, engaged in the production and distribution of a music CD featuring 16 Liberian musical groups who resided as refugees in Buduburam. The Buduburam CD was launched in 2009 and marked the culmination of UAlberta involvement in the community which began in 2005. The music CD was a creative initiative to further explore the social impact and realities of civil war and refugees. Musical recordings represented life in Buduburam through several genres: traditional, gospel, hip hop, rap, R&B, and reggae.

Vue Weekly (an independent news and entertainment paper) gave Giving Voice to Hope: Music of Liberian Refugees 4 stars out of 5! 

Track Samples (mp3):

  1. No More War - Morris Haynes (5:46, English, Bassa) Genre: Traditional/Reggae
  2. Power - S-Man (Samuel Taylor) (6:01, English, Vai) Genre: Traditional/Highlife
  3. Aa nii bee dain - Samuel Johnson (4:15, Bassa) Genre: Traditional/Gospel
  4. Stop the Violence - Big Seen (Wesley Toh, Alvin L. Page) (4:13, English) Genre: Hip-Hop
  5. Take Away - Soul Whisperers (Gardiah G. Henry, Hilary L. Browne, John Goah, George Charles) (4:40, English) Genre: Gospel
  6. We Are All Liberian - Calabash Unite Us All (5:21, English) Genre: Traditional
  7. Je t'adore - Representorz (Joseph Teah Jr., Dave Nyema, Milton Farley) (5:16, English/French) Genre: Hip-Hop
  8. Peace Must Prevail - Shadow (Samuel Morgan) (4:19) Genre: Hip-Hop/R&B
  9. Ah Mama (Africa Let's Sing) - Timothy Faya Bomah (3:32, English, Kissi) Genre: Gospel
  10. About Time - Universal Vision (Eddie G. Payne, Robert Mlegodgh, Emmanuel Sumo) (4:22, English, Bassa) Genre: Hip-Hop
  11. Come Together Africa - God's Family (Michael Goodridge, Jerry Myers, Yeady Myers, Ezekiel Hallie) (2:33, English and Bassa) Genre: Gospel
  12. Gbai Kai Yaa - Constance Exploit Bowier (4:28, Kpelle) Genre: Traditional
  13. It's True - Interpretors (Peter Myers, Issac Gbaryee) (3:28, English) Genre: Hip-Hop
  14. Shine for Jeus/Brille pour Jesus - Helbert Collins (4:13, English/French) Genre: Gospel
  15. Give a Little Love to the Children - Alaric Crump (4:23, English) Genre: Reggae/Gospel
  16. CYE Theme Song - Blessed Brothers (1:49)

The project was being implemented in partnership with the Centre for Youth Empowerment (CYE), a Liberian NGO founded by war-stricken Liberian youth who sought refuge in Buduburam. CYE is committed to the pursuit of peace, development, education, good health, and sanitation, and has been an instrumental leader in the ongoing rehabilitation of Liberian refugees. 



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