The much anticipated March 16 came with some spectacles, from the B’s factor (Benita Urey vs Berenice Mulbah) little show on the red carpet, to some electrifying Performances by various diaspora artists. Everything looked spot on until the gloomy moments where most of the recipients of the awards were absent reducing the show to a concert like event,even before that,I thought some important aspects of general entertainments were left out yet again. Head to head LMA got it right when they brought it’s own version of the awards down to Liberia no disrespect to the diaspora artists,promoters,managers and the general entertainment body outside of Liberia.
An event where 80-90% of its nominees are based in Liberia, it is always most prudent such show work on having 75-90% of those nominees at the event proper. With the level of development in the industry you’d think such a grande occasion as the LEAs would be near perfect instead,It’s another repeated blunder,an intentional error is it? I can’t be too certain but I dare you I’m not too far from the reality. With twenty five categories, there were no space for best male artist of the year, best female artist of the year, best group of the year,best collaboration of the year, best cultural troops,best entertainment magazine/blog/platform,best record labels,best traditional/gbema song,best comedy skit, there were also no distinction between hipco and Trapco so Bucky Raw walked away with a category he does not represent. Interestingly,we’ve witness the biggest storm of the two Liberian made genres,Revo vs Kpanto and the mighty war between trapco Chuck Norris Bucky Raw and Christoph who represent Hipco.
How did the executives of LEA miss this? To have Bucky Raw lift an award in a category where his rivals represent was an indirect way of siding with Bucky whom for some time been meaning to close Casket on Christoph and Hipco that made his main nemesis. Another point of mine is,the growth of our entertainment industry has been one sided, home based entertainers has had 90% percent of all opportunities and exposures leaving diaspora artists scrambling for whatever that is left.
No category for the diaspora entertainers such as Male artist of the year(diaspora),female artiste of the year(diaspora) because honestly pitching diaspora artists against home based artists is no fair fight, the votes will always go to the home based not because they are necessarily better,but because their brands/contents get promoted much better than her diaspora counterparts.
When I look at artists like 2C who had a busy and successful year being overlooked,wonderful music goddess like Snoti who dropped hits back to back,or the ever energetic Nyae slanger, hit man AG Da profit, ever green Mai Myers and songstress like Baroe sidelined, then there’s something wrong somewhere, either the executives of LEA are not inclined enough for LEA or conspiracy somewhere. Another point to note!! Liberian entertainment should be about our culture and traditions interpreted through music, dance (traditional/cultural Liberian dance first before foreign),our lifestyles interpreted through movies, live play or by way of radio/TV presentations and by magazines,blogs and entertainment news outlets. With recognition, every field of Liberian entertainment will grow, decentralize the attentions and focus.
I hope 2020 the organizers of the LEA will get it right.