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Cameroonian music industry: A story of lost identity in a competitive global marketplace

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For a while now, there have been fierce debates about the value and importance given to the Cameroon music makers amidst a flourishing music industry in next door Nigeria.

Artists, their protégés, producers and some music lovers have reprimanded almost everybody but themselves for the inability of camer showbiz to be fully embraced in the homes of Cameroonians or better still the utter neglect of Cameroonian music in the nightclubs, talk less of attributing anything reminiscent of the kind of rock star status they do badly crave beyond the borders of Cameroon.

Cameroonian music has been rising again but has failed to resonate beyond a traditional fanbase, unattractive to the continent and uncompetitive in a global marketplace.

Nightclubs Djs have come under the sword from some fans for relegating Cameroonian made music at the bottom of their pirotity play lists each time they go to work while corporate multinationals like MTN and ORANGE Cameroon have been roasted for double standards and outright bias as they chunk out hundreds of millions for foreign artists each year to perform in Cameroon for few hours while local artists are drained for an entire night for peanuts.

Even the presidency has not been spared in the latest onslaught by Cameroon music first campaigners and the first family came under diet early recently for importing Nigeria sensation Wizkid to entertain them for reportedly hundred of millions francs CFA at the expense of home based artist in December 2019.

Campaigners for what is now known as the ‘support your own’ mantra have been trumpeting their disenchantments with the statusquo , flooding social media with soul touching videos and audios filled with messages of entertainment loyalty to fatherland enveloped in a rare show of cultural patriotism

They strenuously try to argue that Cameroonians don’t value their products and detest consuming made my Cameroon with same passion that they consume made in Nigeria or even Tanzania, and they add that the multinationals don’t respect local artists reasons why they can’t make enough money to be globally competitive with their foreign counterparts

Meanwhile, critics of the ‘support your own’ concept have been quick to push back those criticisms, ridiculing the campaign for lack of foresight and label its backers as transiently and unforgivably naïve.

They argue the world has become globally competitive and Cameroonians deserve to enjoy good music irrespective of its origin or even language.

*Making sense of this all*

The business of music industry in Africa has been evolving and to be fair Cameroon has enjoyed its glory days when the west African nation once topped the continent’s music chart for decades.

Makossa which is known as the Cameroonian brand and defacto license holder of the genre was the melody of the continent in the 70s and 80s, and then the Congolese dethroned the Cameroonians with a genre of their own in the 90s. The Ivorian took the continent especially FRANCOPHONE Africa by storm in the early 2000s with their coupe Decale before surrendering the lead to the Nigerians few years later

Till date, the Nigerians have redefined how music is made and listened, embedding in their songs their rich culturally heritage and exporting it to the entire world with the help of their population and entertainment-friendly government.

The world just can’t get enough of Naija.

Nigeria entertainment industry is arguably the highest paid in Africa and contributes heavily to the country’s GDP, as a matter of fact, the entertainment industry in Nigeria makes more money in the country than any other industry excerpt oil, employing millions of Nigerians and making constant waves around the continent and indeed the world

Stars like Burna Boy, Flavour , 2Face, Dbanj, Kizz Daniel, Wikkid, Davido, P-squere, Tiwa Savage, Yemi and endless list of others have all revolutionize music in Nigeria and continent producing hit songs after hit songs whicbhas inspired the continent and make them multi-millionaires- atleast on social media.

They have understood that showbiz is far from just singing beautifully or acting talentedly, they are investing millions on their PR and self branding , flashing luxurious cars and merchandise on social media, attracting huge followers who seem to be endlessly impressed with their aristocratic and flamboyant lifestyle.

Consequently, their concerts have been jam-packed and almost always having a sold-out arenas anywhere in their country, Africa and around the world, gaining millions of worldwide fans and buidling a personality cult.

Multinationals based in their countries have also stepped in, signing multimillion endorsement deals with the artist whom they are sure have sizable following for their brands and helping to project them to the world like never before constituting a formidable partnership which works for all and retiring any other model which doesn’t look similar to the Nigerians with such unspoken arrogance

The Nigerians have redefined the entertainment business in the continent and project the real business site of the word showbiz-They are simply flying at the moment and seem to be doing everything right. the message is simple, donit the Nigerian way or retire.

It’s therefore no surprised that rising stars and local idols in other countries scramble to collaborate with them as they seek continental glory.

Most top Nigerian artiest have an entire team to work with from manger to PR and many more, constantly projecting their artists and forcing down their songs down our throats.

Do we need to talk about the music, they are always hit songs accompanied with top class videos and unrivalled graphics, epitomising hard work and talent punctuated in well panned, targeted and cordinated financial investment.

It’s not surprising therefore that Davido can get the popular O2 Arena in London sold out for a show in just few weeks (a feat attained in the past only by world class names like Beyoncé), performing for an entire night with the crowd chanting and singing to the rhythm of every single line of all the songs he played that night.

While the Congolese and Ivoirians are still sticking to their brand albeit declining fortunes, Cameroonian young stars have abandoned Makosa completely, embracing Afro hip hop and doing very poorly with hurriedly composed substandard songs and poorly released videos, mimicking Nigerians who are the best in that game and at the same time wants equal recognition

Some music gurus like Salatiel have tried to rebrand and reinvent with a blend of French and English culture to produce something unique to make waves across motherland Africa but it has always lack the cutting edge to create the deserving impact to the choosy Cameroonian youths. There is hope none the less.

Pressuring DJs to play unappealing songs will only kill their own career by sending customers away and demanding similar favors from Cameroonians through appeals in a globally competitive world is a nonstarter- they won’t buy it.

Our artists have a lot of work to do to redefine their sphere, reinvent and repacked their career and focus on producing good music worthy of international competition and embrace aggressive PR.

There are flashlights from the likes of Daphne, Salatiel, Mr Leo, Blanche, Locko and many more… but much work is still to be done if we must compete continent-wide or beyond

We are in the 21st century and music must be consumed and loved because it’s good and better than others and not because it was done within a define geographic location——times have changed

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Followers of televangelist TB Joshua on edge as 27th March prophesy deadline for coronavirus looms

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Followers of televangelist TB Joshua on edge as 27th March prophesy deadline for coronavirus looms 

The Nigerian prophet and general overseer of the Synagogue Church of all nations Prophet TB Joshua during one of his services said the deadly coronavirus ravaging the world will disappear just as it came by March 27th 2020

Another Nigerian based televangelists Apostle Suleman of the Omega Fire Ministries also told his followers that God told him the virus will disappear just as it came but didn’t attach a deadline to it 

The coronavirus however seem to be getting worst around the globe both in terms of numbers of infected cases and dead rates

Many continue to die around the world and African countries are increasingly infected with WHO officials warning  millions could die in the continent if nothing urgent is done to help.

But this would not be  the first time prophet TB Joshua’s prophesy fails to come true should the 27 March deadline fails to end the virus around the globe.

During the heated US elections between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, the revered man of God with millions of followers across the globe said he saw a woman emerging as the winner  of the race.

It would later turnout Trump won the election even though his followers consoled themselves with the fact that Hilary Clinton won the popular vote

It remains highly unlikely that the deadly coronavirus will suddenly disappear between now and tomorrow morning.

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Music legend Manu Dibango dies of coronavirus in Paris-France

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After haven’t been killed on social media on many occasions, Cameroonim super star and music legend Manu Dibango has finally died due to coronavirus at the age of 86

A message from his official Facebook account reads

Dear family, dear friends, dear fans,

A voice raises from far away…

It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to covid 19.

His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible.

Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango is a Cameroonian musician and songwriter who plays saxophone and vibraphone. He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk, and traditional Cameroonian music.

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Entertainment

Ogbuide movie premier: CIPMA brings Nollywood to your door steps

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Cameroon’s international premier marketing company CIPMA come 10th April 20202 will be rewriting the movie rules in the country. The marketing giant-CIPMA in collaboration with Evina Cruz production will be premiering the first-ever international movie premiere in Cameroon

The Movie ‘ogbuide’ features some of the finest Nigerian actors like Eve Esin, Nkechi, and many others and was produced by a Cameroonian movie maker Evina Cruz

The international movie premiere which will take place at the prestigious mountain Hotel will bring together the lead cast and crew from Nigeria, moviemakers in Cameroon and stakeholders in the country

Entertainment critics say the coming of ogbuide in Cameroon is a testament of the strides the country’s movie industry has made this far, adding it will be a major milestone for the movie sector in the country

The population of Buea and beyond are excited to welcome the superstars and the movie in their town with one resident telling TeboPost ‘I can’t imagine not being there for whatever reasons’

CIPMA is a leading entertainment marketing company in the country. The Buea-based company is reputed for the marketing of artists, concerts, movies, universities among other things within their rich portfolio.

For reservations about the movie premiere, please contact 670201485 or 670611090

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