Hassan Jalloh and the Warriors “scatter scatter” to the song “No More War” at the site of the first shots fired in Sierra Leone’s 1991-2002 Civil War. Bomaru, 2013.
Spectators rush to buy tickets for the Warriors show. Villagers spend 1000-2000 Leones ($0.25-$0.50) each to witness the most popular performers in Sierra Leone’s Eastern Province. Gbeworbu Gao, 2011.
The women of the Foobu King Hassan Jalloh Fan Club. Jolloh enters into profit-sharing contracts with local associations, who use their percentage for rebuilding projects, school fees, and/or personal gain. Foobu, 2011.
Jalloh greets a young fan. Jalloh’s celebrity is rooted in his ability to keenly address each constituency of his audience in their own language and on their own terms. Massam Kpaka, 2012
“Celebrity, Violence, and the Mystic Arts in Postwar Sierra Leone” tracks the operations of Hassan Jalloh, once a commander in Sierra Leone’s devastating civil war, now the self-proclaimed “King of West Africa Mystical Power and Culture.” Jalloh served in the Civil Defense Forces, a pro-government militia that mobilized the imagery and practices of village hunter traditions in pursuit of local legitimacy and esoteric defense maneuvers including disappearance, metamorphosis, and bullet-proofing. Faced with disarmament and doubtful reintegration at the end of the decade-long war, Jalloh turned to Allah for guidance, then redeployed his troops as the touring Warrior Cultural and Mystical Power Dance Troupe. Through the virtuosic fusion of acts that might variously appear as fearsome masked dancing, military pageantry, bloody self-mutilation, and sleight-of-hand hocus-pocus, Jalloh publicly demonstrates the abilities he acquired in wartime and expounds on themes ranging from Islamic doctrine and cultural reconstruction to nationalism and HIV/AIDS prevention.