April 3, 2020

Nexdim Empire

Camer Entertainment House

Canal d’Or- Why make Makossa and Bikutsi king?

source:journalducameroun.com

In music, awards are primarily intended to celebrate excellence. They represent the respect fans or music insiders have for those who are nominated. These awards can equally provide outsiders with an idea of the actors perception of the environment in which they exist. The award fever has gripped Cameroon and a string of awards have sprung into the limelight. The recently- held Mboa Hip -Hop awards ignited a backlash from a  segment of English- speaking artists and audience due to its controversial  “Best anglophone artist” .However we must note that this is just one in many controversial awards handed out.Another equally divisive award show is Canal d’or. Since its inception, the award has amassed a huge load of credibility for itself. Year after year the event is polished and upgraded yet something is still wrong. There is a category for best artist and another for best folklore artist or group. Under the former award, one finds mainstream Makossa and Bikutsi artists. Under the other,one finds artists using  parallel  rhythms tagged “folklore“. One question pops to mind aren’t Makossa and Bikutsi all indigenous and folklore? Is this an implicit raising of these rhythms to the position of  king rhythms and a consequent degradation of the others to lesser positions? Please,spare us the they-are-the-most-known-Cameroonian-rhythms- argument. If the world ,ignorantly, has a narrow appreciation of our music,we should not stoke their narrow-mindedness. It is not their fault for celebrating only those two rhythms. It is rather our fault for tending to help celebrate only two when we have hundreds. Makossa is sure one of our finest cultural export commodities  but that doesn’t mean it is the king commodity.This dichotomy is just as  divisive and discriminatory as much as  Mboa Hip Hop’s “Best anglophone award”.