It”s the glitteri

ng shortcut. It”s the easiest way in but as with all compromises the price to pay is just not worth it. While others have taken the rise and rise of the Nigerian entertainment industry as a challenge, an unsaid call to greater excellence from all of us Africans, others have go it all wrong. Thus it is now unfortunately and increasingly common to watch a Cameroonian film and ingest a Nigerian experience. This Naija wannabism hitherto observable only in Cameroonian Films has now creeped into Cameroonian music expression. And we must raise a red flag because our artists are our face and voice on the world music scene, if they look and sound like others then we don”t exist although we are. After Dencia advertently or inadvertently set the pace, here comes the lovely Naomi Achu singing in not Mankon, Bayinki, Ewondo but YORUBA. The track is titled “Wa fu mi suga” and is her latest release. Come on people. Reactions in denial will surely come on the heels of this post. But it is loudly blatantly self-evident : the goal is to sneak if not get into the good graces of Naija folk. Forget about the sad pandering that this act is, forget the denial of self. What does this say of an artist”s belief in his or her music”s power to go past glass ceilings? Not much except a lack of that belief. At a certain point, this ism betrays a complex which shoudn”t exist. It also further betrays a great misconception that has overrun many young Cameroonian artists: to get a smash hit, you need to do Naija. No, NO and NO. To get a continental smash hit, you need a sound which Africans want, and this sound isn”t the preserve of Naija. It is a human trait, it a Cameroonian trait. You just need to search and you will find it. By the way, don”t artists have to represent their hood?


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