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Sierra Leone Entertainment: SLeDU 2017 Awards: SNUBS & SUPRISES

LAJ

The usual cold and dry harmattan wind, became unusually warm and humid at the Bo Stadium, which was charged by enthusiastic fans which went frenzy by the spectacular performances from galaxies of superstars.
Bo City on the 29th December 2017 hosted the 2017 the Sierra Leone DJs Union (SLeDU) Awards.
The euphoria was heightened; the momentum was vibrating; hopes were high. The fans and nominees were highly expectant. The stadium was cramped. Fans watched the glittering stage with fiery anticipation. The speakers outburst sent a powerful wave that shook the already hysteria stands igniting the event.
The night was full of surprises and snubs.
There were 29 categories with over 100 nominees. Tightly contested categories. It was the biggest music award in the country in 2017.
I was there on a chartered paid trip by SLeDU to cover the event as an entertainment journalist. I arrived in Bo at about 7pm, and at the venue at about 10pm. Fans were there as early as 6pm according to sources.
Upcoming artists got the ball rolling with stage performances, and were later joined by their senior counterparts. The performances were splendid with ecstatic extravaganza
from mega stars like Drizilik, Leonus D Genius, Arkman, Fyn Face, Innocent, Agnes Bockarie, Colabo, X-vert, Lady FSK, Succulent, Emerson and more…
The presentation of the awards was done at intervals (interchangeably with the performances). The tougher categories were the last to be presented. The earlier winners
received huge applauses from the audience.
The night was splendid to the delight of all present. The mood did not end the way it started. It suddenly dwindled.
First, it was the throwing of plastic bottles and debris into the pitch by angry fans who were too bored with the persistent presentation of upcoming or underground artists on stage by the MCs. The organizers
earlier promised the audience with performances from Kao Denero, Boss LA and Emerson, but they were not forthcoming, except Emerson who showed up at the 11th hour. That rowdy moment was hard to put under control even with presence of military and police personnel, until a Bo resident artist (Cosko B – who was earlier awarded as Best Reggae Artist)
was presented on stage probably to quell down the chaotic scene. He brought back the show to life with back-up performances from Colabo, Innocent and Emerson in the
earlier hours of the 30th December. The earlier performances were great too, with Leonus De Genius rocking the stage alongside Arkman, Succulent and others.
The second upset came from the inconsistencies of the organizers/presenters. The Best Music group award was first awarded to LXG, but was later awarded to X-vert group. Of course there were no inscriptions of names of the winners on the trophies – which makes it very easy for everyone to claim it.
There were also unpopular winners in some categories like Dori O Dori by LXG as the Best RNB Song, as opposed to ‘I wish’ by Innocent or ‘Sorry’ by Rahim D
Wezard, Boss LA as the Best Diaspora Artist, as opposed to Terror D who many believed has done more, etc.
There was also an issue of placing artists or groups in the wrong categories, the same was detected in the National Entertainment Awards (NEA)
earlier presented this year by Lake Production, where nominees declined from certain categories. We would need expert to help identify the criteria that qualifies a song, an artist, group or any artistic work to be placed in a particular category.
The most annoying was the Best Hip Hop Artist category awarded to Colabo, who was earlier awarded that night with a special recognition award for his outstanding contribution to the music industry. This award was supposed to be presented by Emerson, on his dismay on seeing Colabo’s name as the winner for Best hip-hop artist, intelligent as he is, he sounded the opinions of the audience as to whom they thought the winner should be. The audience suggested other names contrary to the outright winner SLeDU had already indicated. Emerson thus declined to announce Colabo as the winner, and henceforth presented the winners of the other categories before descending the stage.
After few performances and presentations, Colabo was later announced by the organizers as the winner for that category.
Drizilik was highly ticked by fans to take this trophy home. But he was left disappointed that morning, although he had already pocketed 2 others. The event immediately went cold that morning after Colabo’s announcement. The words on the lips of most present were pointing at Colabo’s alleged influence over the industry. Whom many considered as a god.
At a point, Colabo was seen walking out of the venue when Emerson refused to announce him as the winner.
In one of his latest Facebook posts from The Gambia, Kao Denero asked organizers to stop using his name or brand on their awards. He noted that those nominations bring him nothing but disrespect. He never
objected when he was nominated. His latest outburst may have emanated from the outcome of the results.
Meanwhile, the president of SLeDU Abdul Karim Koroma aka Pilot CPO however maintained that the winners were determined by the number of votes they received plus other criteria determined by the Committee responsible for the awards.
“Nobody influenced the results”, he said.
Notably, SLeDU’s former president – Ibrahim Kalokoh otherwise known as DJ Kalloxx was not in attendance that night for unknown reasons.
However, the discrepancies here are synonymous to other major awards across the world. Perfection is farfetched but professionalism is ensured.
Notwithstanding, also, a healthy competition is once again injected into the minds of recording and performing artists.
At least, they have something to fight for, if not money but honors. And SLeDU has created that platform to recognize hard working musicians.
Not in a haste would I fail to commend SLeDU for the honour given to me to come on stage and presented the trophy for the Best RNB Artist. Regards! Massive respect also for the decentralization of
entertainment by taking the awards out of the capital city for the first time and most artists attended this auspicious occasion. This shows how the venture was well appreciated by entertainers.
Notwithstanding the above squabbles, many artists are celebrating their trophies on social media.
In a nutshell, SLeDU has done a great job and would probably learn from the minor mistakes. The event was a success so far.
SURPRISES
FAMOUS: The singer who was placed in 7 categories grabbed two important awards in Bo. They include BEST ALBUM – ‘Brighter Future’ and BEST MALE VOCALIST
STAR ZEE: The DOZ female rapper who was nominated in 8 categories also grabbed 2 important trophies as BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST and BEST COLLABORATION –
‘Leader 2’ ft. Stonebwoy.
DRIZILIK: The new skool rapper who was nominated in 4 places, took home 2 trophies for BEST NEW SKOOL ARTIST and BEST HIP HOP SONG – ‘Di Mami E Moni For Komot’.
ROZAY: The KME diva who was placed in 3 categories got 2 and missed one. The biggest achiever that night. They include BEST FEMALE VOCALIST and BEST FEMALE PERFORMER.
COLABO: The All Stars president got one as BEST HIP HOP ARTIST plus a SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD for his outstanding contribution to the music industry.
JANE PETERS: Won her only category nominated as BEST TRADITIONAL SONG – ‘Massa Kheh’.
ESTHER MYKEL: She won the only category nominated as BEST GOSPEL ARTISTE.
BROTHER ABASS: He won his only nomination as BEST ISLAMIC ARTISTE.
LEONUS DE JNR.: Grabbed the only trophy he was nominated for as BEST FUTURE ACT.
YOUNG LEE: He grabbed the BEST PRODUCER.
EMERSON: From his 3 places nominated, he won one as BEST ARTISTE OF THE DECADE.
ARKMAN: He got one from his 2 places as SONG OF THE YEAR – ‘Hold Somebody’.
DALLAS B: He won one from his two nominations as BEST DANCEHALL ARTISTE.
MARKMUDAY: He won one from his two places as BEST RNB ARTISTE.
COSKO B: He grabbed one out of two as BEST REGGAE ARTISTE.
BLOCK JONES: Won one missed one as BEST LIVE ACT.
X VERT: They won one out of two as BEST GROUP.
FANTACEE WIZ: She won one from three places as BEST TRADITIONAL ACT.
SUCCULENT: He got one from 3 places as BEST MALE PERFORMER.
KME ALL STARZ: Got one out of 3 as BEST RECORD LABEL.
LXG: Won one out of 3 as BEST RNB SONG – ‘Dori O Dori’.
INNOCENT: Won one from 4 places as BEST SOCIAL COMMENTARY SONG – ‘Udat Responsible’.
NASSER AYOUB: Won one from 4 places as BEST DANCEHALL SONG – ‘Twerk It’.
LAJ: Got one out of 4 as BEST DIASPORA ARTISTE (USA).
TERROR D: Got one out of 5 categories as BEST MUSIC VIDEO – ‘Levels’.
SNUBS
Kao Denero, Rahim De Wezard and K Man missed in all their respective 4 categories nominated.
Slim G, M 2, Vida and Alonzo, missed in all 3 categories nominated.
Morris, Keyler Voice, King Melody, Empress P, KrackTwist N Samza and Shuaibu all missed in their 2 categories nominated.
Friday January 26, 2018.

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