African artists outraged at BET Awards organizers taking them for granted
|Nigerian pop star, Davido posing with his 2014 awards|
“As far as I’m concerned, if BET doesn’t think African artists or the winners in the African category deserve to be included in the main show, for whatever broadcast time limits or ratings explanation, they should just cancel the category. We would not take offense. We would just understand that we’re not worthy to be broadcast to the American audience, at the show or to those watching at home,” starts Ayo Shonaiya, a Nigerian entertainment lawyer.
“On average, these artists travel first class to the States to receive the award and it costs about $8,000 for a round trip ticket,” reveals Bishop Adejube, a talent manager and president of Core DJs Africa. “According to my good friend Obi Asika at Storm Records, Nigerian music alone has garnered over 300 million YouTube views from over 90 countries. What this tells us is that Nigerian and African music have massive popularity. It is global without millions of dollars in advertising, without support from government or organized private sector. This is something to be immensely proud of. Everyday someone, somewhere, discovers our music. They are now discovering our comedy and of course they know Nollywood, our movie industry.”
Shonaiya adds, “What is insulting is the false excitement or delusion of achievement for African artists by creating a category for them, and then giving them the award outside of the show itself. For the organizers of BET, I believe they know all too well the ‘house negro/field negro’ mentality. And they shouldn’t for one second believe they are doing us any favors, or even ‘supporting’ us if they continue excluding Africans from the Awards show.
“Questions need to be put to BET between now and next year’s Awards. Will Africans be included or excluded from the main show? And if it’s still the same practice, no self-respecting African artist should acknowledge BET’s nomination, go to the Awards, and politely refuse to be part of the Awards in any way. We have many prestigious awards in Africa anyway; let us give ourselves some respect.”
Adejube closes, “It is very imperative that BET takes geography lessons so they can understand the buying power of the numerical strength of Africans. There are barely 40 million African Americans in the United States, but Nigeria alone comes with over 180 million Black people and there are over 1.2 billion people in continental Africa before BET continue to treat Africa as a country and not a continent.” There is also a Best International Act – UK, which is an actual country.
Here are some of the reactions across social media.
@BET Network & owners of #BETAwards continue to commit #ModernDay #Creative “Slavery” crime against Talents & Creative Minds from Africa, the #Motherland with her continous #ShutOut of #BestInternationalAct #Africa category from its Live #Telecast.
#BET has no Moral Rights nor justification to contribute to the issues of #BlackLivesMatter bcos the Network and her agent’s treatment of #AfricanArtistes &#Talents made @BET a #ModernDay #SlaveMaster
No wonder the #BETAwards viewership keep dwindling from 7.9 Million viewership in 2014 to 6.5 Million in 2015
This is a perfect example of modern day #BlackOnBlack “crime” but committed within the Creative Community with impunity because it’s been like 4 years running of #BETAwards always “sneaking” awards (backstage) into the hands of these very talented & very creative minds from Africa.
My 1cent advice to #BET is to “kill” this category if the recipients are not worth the main stage presentation within the Live Telecast.
If #BlackLivesMatter then the #AfricanCreativeTalentsMatter, enough is enough of BET Network & BET Award SEGREGATED platform during the award.
To #BETNetwork, an African proverb says “A word is enough for the wise ……….”#DontBelieveMeJustWatch
Who do you think is wrong, BET or African artistes condemning their act?
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