Meet Pillz, the Zogos’ Queen

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Philz

The singer dedicating her music career to advocate for training opportunities for street dwellers

Although Pillz is just 23, she has a lot of potential to become an A-list artist anytime soon. From singing to rapping, the young songwriter’s vocal and lyrical prowess is unique and on point.

But that is not just all about Pillz. She is an artist who has decided to dedicate her music career speaking out for the neglected and destitute people of Liberia, the Zogos – drug addicts and prostitutes.

“I see a lot of potential in these Zogos and prostitutes. Trust me; no one was born to be a Zogo or prostitute. They became Zogos or prostitutes because of reasons, and most often because they lack job opportunities.

“For some, they became Zogos because they turned to drugs for happiness, and others to prostitution to survive. Let us remember, everyone does not have the same ability to respond to hardships in the same way. The high rate of these kinds of Liberians nowadays is the result of the high inequality gap in the society, because inequality breeds poverty, which leads people astray,” Pillz, who real name is Jackie B. Ofori, said.

And when the time came for Pillz to kick off her advocacy for these kinds of Liberians, she dropped the single titled “Zogo,” a song which came at a time when police and the public were using harsh tactics to get them off the streets. “For me I see these kinds of Liberian as first time sinners just like every one of us who one way or the other made mistakes. I know the lifestyle they are in is bad but we cannot just talk without helping them. Raiding the ghetto or cutting the hair cannot stop it. Everyone is a winner, and if you give these people a chance, you will see their real potential. And since most people don’t want to advocate for them, I have decided to dedicate my career to speak for them. They need help. It is truth that drug use has spoiled them, but they can be repaired. I can bet my life, most of these Zogos, when given a second opportunity, can become better citizens than some of us.

“They are Liberians, too. They need us more than before. I talk and visit then most often and I know they are willing to get out. But lack of support and stigmatization make matters worse,” the singer-songwriter said.

Immediately after Zogo was released, it became an instant hit; and in no time, the police stopped their harsh treatment of Zogos, and embarked on a policy of persuasion to take them off the streets. But the lack of proper support to help them after agreeing to take them off the streets complicated the matter.

After Zogo, Pillz dropped song ‘Marpu Say.’ Just like her debut song, ‘Marpu Say’ advocated for girls on the streets, some of whom are prostitutes. ‘Marpu Say’ talks about the hardship most girls go through; and when they cannot continue, they resort to the likes of prostitution.

“Music is a universal language,” she said, “it transcends geographical borders, class and gender. These Zogos and prostitutes need to be forgiving for their mistake, and be accepted back in the society. If we can forgive politician who lied and ruined our lives, why not forgive these people and accept them back into society?

“And with my music, I’m creating awareness for help to come to them. They need rehabilitation centers and training opportunities for jobs. Most of these girls on the street want to get out, but no one is willing to help them.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. To save the Zogo, the government should impose the Death Penalty on drug dealers, especially on the foreigners who are purposely bringing drugs into our country in search of fast money. This is why we continued to be surprised by President Sirleaf when she pardoned a heartless female drug dealer from far away Uganda. Most of the Cattle Fulani’s and Nigerians in Liberia are despicable drug dealers. When arrested, they bribe our corrupt officials and get away. In fact, the large influx of African foreigners into post-war Liberia is detrimental to the security of Liberia. Liberia does not belong to every African. Liberia is the Homeland only for the Liberian people. So-called Pan Africanism should not be at the detriment of the Liberian people. ECOWAS has allowed Nigerian and Fula drug dealers and human traffickers to move freely across borders with their victims. The Chinese, Lebanese, and Indians are worst. Then I wonder whether it is not yet time for the Liberian people to replace the old broken door policy with an iron gate policy.

    The salvation of the Zogo will not come through music. Music will only create awareness about the plight of the Zogo. A social problem is harder to solve than a scientific problem. That is why a social problem needs a drastic policy to be solved. The large influx of poor Nigerians, Ghanaians, and Cattle Fulanis into Liberia is not good.

    And do you know that the origin of the word “Zogo” is Nigerian. It is the derogatory word the Nigerians use to refer to the young Liberian men and women who have fallen victims to Nigerian supplied drugs.

    The question is, how long are the Liberian people going to tolerate the criminality of these Nigerian and Fulani suckers?

    No one wants to become anti-strangers, but every rule has an exception.

    • E. S; you are quite right in certain aspects. Despite the fact that there are some honest and hard working foreign guests in Liberia; there are many others who are “CRIMINAL ELEMENTS”. Quite often we have heard of massive “JAILBREAKS” in some of our Neighboring Countries, only to have those CRIMINALS move to Liberia; to indulge into their “CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES” We just can’t have a Liberia, “FREE FOR ALL”. We must have a better immigration policy. With the current system, we are breeding foreseeable conflicts. At present rate; of influx of Foreigners to Liberia, Liberians are becoming far out numbered by FOREIGNERS. The time to take a stand is now; NOT LATER. Foreigners INFLUX to Liberia is already getting out of control.

      WE ARE SEEING CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, THAT WERE NEVER BEFORE KNOWN IN LIBERIA. THAT SAYS A LOT…

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