Lamboginny: Singer takes songs of hope to Nigerian prisoners

Story highlights

  • Nigerian singer Lamboginny is performing at the country's prisons
  • He says he wants to give prisoners a second chance

Lagos (CNN)When Yinka Lawanson (better known by his stage name "Lamboginny") launched his debut album in October 2017, he chose Nigeria's Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison as the venue.

Lamboginny held his first concert at Kirikiri, in Lagos, in 2009, performing before a large audience of prisoners. These days, he holds three or four concerts in different prisons every year.
    The mission is simple: to make prisoners smile again.
    "What makes me happy is when I see that smile of hope on their faces," he says. "This is for them to know that life has not turned its back on them."
    Prison conditions in Nigeria are "harsh and life threatening," according to the U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
    It states that "prisoners and detainees were reportedly subjected to extrajudicial execution, torture, gross overcrowding, food and water shortages, and other abuses."
    More than two thirds of Nigeria's inmates -- 67.9% -- are pre-trial detainees, or remanded, according to the World Prison Brief. That figure is the 17th highest in the world, and compares to 20.3% in the USA and 27.9% in South Africa.

    Second chances

    For the launch of his album Saving All Lives Together (SALT), Lamboginny invited other musicians to perform with him at Kirikiri. Although the weather was against them, Lamboginny says spirits remained high.
    "It rained," Lamboginny says, smiling, "but inmates kept shouting, 'the rain cannot stop us!'"
    Lamboginny says it's all about giving the prisoners another go at life. "I be