The 2017 BET Awards ceremony was held at the 7,000 capacity Microsoft Auditorium in Los Angeles on the 25 of June, 2017 with not sizeable spectacle barring Migos’ boiling blood at well; everyone.
As expected Beyoncé & Bruno Mars went home with the most awards. Our own WizKid won the ‘Best International Act: Africa’. Yaay right!? I know. But then chill, lightening struck… again.
Unsurprisingly, this award was announced hours before the main show began & it got a lot of us asking the same question we’ve been asking over the years; ‘When will African artistes get the recognition they deserve?’
It’s no longer news that black African artistes are increasingly getting worldwide recognition for their works. In 2017 alone, four Nigerian artistes got signed on to foreign labels, WizKid to RCA, Davido & Tekno to Sony Music, Tiwa Savage to ROC Nation. Not to mention degrees of varying success achieved by other musicians, Reekado Banks & Patoranking’s albums both debuting on Billboard Charts and so on. The culmination of these show the organizers of the BET Awards have next to zero regards for black African artistes and even bigger dearth of respect for their sounds, while still handing them bread crumb treatment.
Noteworthy; In 2015, WizKid, Yemi Alade & Fuse ODG boycotted the awards show citing the same issue above.
At the risk of sounding like a man with a core victim complex, this is Africa; historically, over 95% of blacks in the US & Caribbeans emigrated from these shores. Without Africa, there’d be no Beyoncé, no Rihanna, or a Jay Z and more importantly; No BET. A BET International adjudicator, Kwesi Kyei Darkwah gave time, brand audience & other lazy excuses as reasons for the continued cynicism.
My response: Mangoes and cucumbers – a giant mound of batshit fuckery. I don’t know about you, but I think Beyonce’s twins wouldn’t die if during a 4-hour show, African artistes got presented their awards/get to perform live, if only for 10 minutes – no it’s not reaching. It’s the Black Entertainment Television Awards for goodness sake. Its essence is what we should be celebrating – BLACKNESS. Not conform to some capitslist white standards and culture – a reason that birthed the award in the first place.
A reevaluation is needed.