Many of the most prominent names in tech and entertainment came together in Buea on Friday for a night full of explosive performances, tech and social commentary, and mind blowing display of Cameroon’s finest designs on the red carpet.
Hosted by Canal2 English TV host, Steve Bernard Fonkam and Miss Stacey, the four-hour show (we will get back to that), celebrated the best in our digital sphere. “It’s time we celebrated those working so hard to put and push our creative content in the digital space,” says Bonteh Engelbert (Founder, BDMA).
It was a full house inside the small event hall at Eta Palace Hotel in Buea, Friday night, as celebrities as well as average Cameroonians came out to support Bonteh and his team to promote an incredible initiative which recognizes and celebrates those in our digital world. Best part?
No VIP treatment No tables were required in the tiny hall else some nominees and their entourages would be standing on their feet through out the show. Almost all those concerned respected their invitation and many bought tickets to attend the first ever digital awards which made it the most attended event in Buea in 2017!
Not all events especially in the South West Region, have been backed by major sponsorship this year but the BDMA 2017 was lucky to have telecommunications giant, Orange Cameroun S.A as a sponsor. Orange did not only help in the pre-event organization but was right there to give the show value and a better branded venue. “We’re happy to be part of this event this year.. We saw a young man who is still a student at the university come up with a bold, brilliant and powerful initiative to recognize people behind the scene who carry our image, content and intellect to the rest of the world.. something no one has done in this country… and we are proud to be of help to his vision,” Eselem Edwin (Brand manager, Orange Cameroon).
Music almost took center stage on Friday with a diverse collection of performances. Having the not-so-envious job of backing up her participation at The Voice Central Africa 2016, Lesline dished her first performance to a Cameroonian audience in a grand style. The young singer got a standing ovation for an explosive and fun rendition of Asa‘s “Jailer.” Big names like Ambe, Wams, Flyboy Gomez and Boy Cheez also took the mic and got the crowd taping their feet, nodding their heads or dabbing on their seats.
Prince Enobi went all the way up to the stage as the “Best PR Agency” winner but in the middle of his acceptance speech, the famous event organizer gave a big shout out to his former employee, Dianee Phillbeatz from the music group Rythmz. “Many people have contributed to me being what I am today and one of those people is … Mr. Shabba (Dianee),” Enobi began as Dianee smiled and nodded to him. Rythmz were a surprised absentee at the Cliq Urban Music Festival in Buea; an music event Enobi organized to celebrate the fast growing urban music in Cameroon. Rumours have it that both parties were not on speaking terms since their split earlier this year. Well, it was good to see some reconciliation in that hall.
With everything going on the English-speaking part of Cameroon including police brutality and the closure of snack bars, lounges and well-attended events, why won’t people shake in fear when two men in uniform strolled into the BDMA? Fortunately for us all, they weren’t there to send everyone home like they did to Ngoh Dalida‘s Rate Your Playlist event few months back. They only came in to escort UN’s LukuLuku Ambassador Wax Dey and AFRIMA 2017 winner, Montess to their seats and make sure they were safe through out the show. We wonder if they were actually in any danger whatsoever.
Lights, Camera, Hosts and audience were all set except for the DJ whom perhaps didn’t do the finishing touches to his equipment before showing up for the event. While presenting an award, producer Edy LaDrae took few seconds to blast the DJ. “Before I go on, I just want to say the DJ sucks… Stop ruining artists performances with your wack equipment. Equipment in my studio are way better than yours,” he said. Need we say more?
Except your name is Brice Albin or Bonas, the BDMA crowd felt no need to put their hands together for the French-speaking nominees. Worse case scenario was the category for “Best French Blogger”. As the nominees were been called out, it was as if no one was in the room. No one cared. No one was interested to know who they were. Instead, they screamed as names like Joan Ngomba, Kiki Bandy, Bate, J. Martins, Gina Efeti etc were called out for the “Best English Blogger” category. Does this have anything to do with the crisis that reigns between the government, military and the people of Southern Cameroons?
Let’s recap Clarisse Ndinge‘s messiah-like evening: She practically saved Syndy Emade from getting the loudest boos in the hall for snubbing the award show. Not only did the actress/film producer not show up at the award show but reportedly didn’t assign anyone to receive her award should she win in her absence. After the long awkward silence and head turns that trailed the moment after Syndy was pronounced “Best Media Personality” winner, Clarisse of Beta Tinz brilliantly and spontaneously took the initiative to match on stage to collect the trophy. From her speech, ” “I don’t know what Syndy would have said if she was here… Syndy is a nice person who has done a lot for our entertainment industry…” one could tell that she wasn’t asked to do this for Syndy. But she had to save the actress from the ready-to-criticize crowd.
See the full winner’s list below.
Check out the Complete list of Winners for #BDMA2107;
Check out photos from the #BDMA2017 below :