This Is What Sarkodie Meant When He Said “We’ll Be Working Pro Bono”

After the release of Sarkodie’s “kanta” track — which is a cover of American hip hop recording artist Desiigner’s hit song “panda” — social media has been buzzing with all sorts of different meanings to the song.

The song which is a direct attack (diss) to fellow musician Manifest has been criticized by many for its weak use of punchlines, metaphors and other devices.

Social media since last week has been inundated with analysis of Sarkodie’s reply ‘Kanta’ and Manifest’s ‘godMC’. The discussion has however centred on how Sarkodie wrongly used the word ‘pro bono.’ To some who didn’t even understand or better yet have not even heard the word before until Sunday when Sark used it, this demonstrates which of the two Rappers has strong command over the Queen’s language.

Indeed pro bono is a latin term that means “for the public good.” Although the term is used in different contexts to mean “the offering of free services,” it has a very specific meaning to those in the legal profession.

A verse in Sarkodie’s “kanta” song goes like

“See, I’ll help you for free but ɛfiri nnɛ korɔ no we [will] be working pro bono” which literally translates as “I will help you for free but from now on we will be working pro bono”.

Notice the keywords “HELP” and “WORK“.

Helping out for FREE is one thing and knowing the person can’t afford your WORK because they may be suffering, is another thing all together. Through out the song Sarkodie pointed out how the “godMC” rapper was suffering in his career, even pointing out the fact that he was struggling to make hits in Ghana. Helping for free in this context meant, WILLINGLY, ONE’S OWN VOLITION or BY CHOICE.

PRO BONO work is done for clients who can’t afford to pay because they EARN A LOW INCOME, hence the one doing the WORK does it for public good because they morally owe it to the public to give back.

So Sarkodie is trying to say that even Manifest can’t afford to pay for his services such that he is obliged to work for him pro bono as in the case of charity, its a moral obligation.

All that Sarkodie meant was Manifest is suffering career wise and is willing to do charity for him.