Though most Ghanaians were happy when Sarkodie won theBest International Act – Africa in 2012, majority were not happy that the BET Award organizers gave him the plaque off stage or back stage.
Most people in Ghana felt and still feel symbolically, it smacks of disrespect to African artists and Africans as a people.
However, there are some who always go to the defence of BET organizers – posit that that is the status quo at BET Awards towards African artists and that they are doing the latter a favour so there is no need to bash them for giving African artists awards backstage.
The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to annually celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment.
Researching on the award scheme, GhanaCelebrities.Com discovered that KKD is one of the African Adjudicators for BET’s International Acts – Africa. He explained why BET organizers usually give the plaque or statuette to the African artists off stage:
“First, BET is a huge American brand so their audience is Americans or people living in America. They have a responsibility to their audience, to generate income, pay taxes to the government of America, create employment, promote artistes or performers with their culture, and to be competitive in their market.
Because of all these, they won’t lose what we call ‘the battle for the eye ball.’ So BET is doing us good by giving us (Africans) nominations or awards in their award scheme. BET may create opportunities for Africans by giving us nomination or award, recognize us for our culture or learn from them, but, they do not see us as superior over theirs! They give recognition and praise to their best thinkers, creators, manufacturers, etc.
Already, we don’t see our artistes or musicians as big! We see artistes in UK or America as bigger than our own, so the point is, in as much as we don’t see the greatness in our own; we shouldn’t expect others to see them as such!
Besides, not all awards are given on stage in this world. It happens at the OSCARS. I’m not justifying BET’s actions anyway. I’ve raised concerns on this issue before at BET’s jury meetings many times. I hope the status quo may change someday.
However, I dare say that Kojo Antwi, Abrante Amakye Dede, Nana Tuffour, Sarkodie, R2Bees, Okyeame Kwame, Kwabena Kwabena, Bisa K.Dei, Samini, Shatta Wale, Becca, Efya, and others are more relevant to me than Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, etc. All great cultures, appreciates their own! Let’s start believing and celebrating our own and others will follow suit.”
Ending, he advised: “Any Ghanaian who gets BET nomination should book a flight, book a hotel and fly all the way to America. It may not necessarily be about the award, but the artiste can use the privilege to build link, network, or collaborate with producers, artistes, media outfits, distribution and marketing outfits, etc.”
Some Ghanaian musicians who have had nominations in BET Awards in the past are; Kwadwo Antwi (first, 2010), D-Black (Second, 2011), Sarkodie (third) – won the Best International Act – Africa together with Nigerian musician Wizkid in 2012, R2Bees (fourth, 2013) and now Sarkodie for the second time – 2014.
The 2014 BET Awards will be held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California on June 29, 2014 and it will be hosted by Chris Rock.
Did KKD’s explanation sink well into your cerebral cortex? Does it make sense to you? Do you think BET giving awards to African artists backstage or off stage is nothing to raise alarm or debate on? Or do you share in the opinion of those who oppose it? Let’s unfurl an intellectual discourse once again. Until then…MOTWUM!!
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