In reaction to Stanley Enow’s call for Cameroonian DJs to play more of local music content ; a cultural patriotism move, artiste Wams weighs in his opinion.
” My pipo, cultural imperialism are collective, carefully calculated, and intentional moves and efforts taken by interest-based (money producing) entities and individuals. They invest money in building a synergy of media through which they bombard their target audience with unending content. It’s sublime, before you know, you’re even abandoning your own local clichés to adopt what you’re exposed to. At least 6 out of 10 “Anglophones” in Cameroon speak using Nigerian clichés like Abi, Joor, Nkor, wahala dey, oluwa, … And so on… “Francophones” on their part find it fashionable to use Ivorian and Burkinabè clichés like “déh”, “Dames et monsieur”, they enjoy speaking without using articles like Le, la, une, un, like they watch in most west African content they are exposed to. It’s a human tendency. Take your remote control, see how many of those channels are on our cable networks.. that’s what they watch, our cultural laws do not encourage cultural patriotism, DJs are only a tertiary arm of the system; most of them are working in the interest of their clients and employers. They’re interested in what will keep their clients spending on drinks. The clients are king, and they choose to listen to what they’ve been exposed to ( ignorant about the economic and social decay toll it takes on them). Some DJs are taking advantage of the disorganization of the sector to play mostly foreign songs, so that home based would come pay them to play their songs. Music, just like every kind of business is a game of numbers. Less than 3 billions FCFA is invested in our local creative industry; very insignificant compared to the billions of Naira invested by multinationals from around the world who have invested in businesses in Nigeria because of their populous nature (over 200 million). Our people are exposed to fabulous, consistent and available and cheap (free) content from Naija…
1. Our law makers must enact and enforce cultural patriotic laws
2. Our public and fans must tolerate the baby steps our creative industry is taking. Nigerians bought and supported theirs right from inception when every other was busy watching Hollywood and Bollywood, they supported by buying, controlling foreign content intrusion, and today it is paying off.
3. We have learned a lot from Naija and continue to learn, but to build our own, we must incorporate it in our legitimate local cultures to get our people to relate. When you try to compete with your superior, defeat them by bringing something different and truly yours. Stop copying and pasting, it won’t work.
4. Anglophones have an 80% social reality difference with the rest of the country; what trends in Anglo Cameroon hardly does same the other way and vice versa. Because of numbers and economic strength, most Anglo artists tend to garner the interest of the relatively more patriotic and supportive francophone audience. Think about it, from Hein pere, through, dans la sauce, on va gérer, etc… Thèse songs “blew” coz twas Francophone social reality dominated.
5. Anglos oh, let’s represent ourselves and our music and movies to the rest of cameroon and the rest of the world, not as anglophones, but as Ngie (Akarai), Nso/Kom (Njang), Mankon/Bafut (Mbangaloum), Bakweri (Chacha), Bayangi (Monikim)… Etc… If nobiso, e no go Waka. Cameroonian music is not only Makossa, Bikutsi and Bensikin.
6. Local businesses (no matter how small) must invest in producing and marketing of local content.
My name is Wams Klassic, I am rebranding grassfield #Bottle_Dance, I call it #Bottle_Soul. It’s working.