According to Sanyu FM radio personality, James Onen (Fat Boy) who has strong views on the African snub at BET, our musicians should stop whining at the organizers but be grateful for the opportunity.
He says that the BET awards are based on American culture and that is how it has been since the launch in 2001. It was as well Kenzo never complained.
“All these Africans complaining about BET giving the Africans their awards back stage should get over themselves. The Award alone, irrespective of where it is given warrants global publicity,” he offers.
According to Fat Boy, there is nothing like disrespect. “I don’t see it as disrespecting. What many people forget is that the main event is a brand and has products that have been well packaged and millions of dollars paid for that airtime. The awards have got just as many commercial breaks and tributes as you can imagine. It is business! ” he argues.
This year the BET show continued with its great tradition of nostalgic performances with musical numbers from Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson and Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment. Tinashe, Jason Derulo and Ciara having Kenzo or Stonebwoy use up airtime in greeting people back home would impinge on the paid up airtime.
Local TV music critic, Joseph Batte has no kind words for the BET network. He believes they shot themselves in the foot by treating Africans like trash.
“We (Africans) will always be despised just because we cannot stand up as a unit to condemn hypocrisy. If treating Kenzo like that isn’t disrespect. What is it?” He fumes.
He maintains that BET has been striving to diversify its reach in viewership by appealing mostly to other ‘Blacks’ other than African Americans by courting African artistes and starting partnerships with pay TVs in Africa.
What they did just defeats the whole purpose of helping African artists seeking that big break into the international music scene. He argues that when the nominees boycott the ceremony, they would get bigger publicity.
“Big stars like Beyoncé have over the years declined the invite, which has made the event organizers panic and fear a meltdown. It can happen if African musicians united and boycott this form of discrimination by these Americans of African descent.”