Love or hate it, transparency or the lack of, with all their flaws, the Liberian Entertainment Awards is a light in the dark for many Liberian artists. During a conference call with over 30 Liberian entertainers, their opinions and expectation of the Liberian Entertainment Awards (LEA), was discussed.
The meeting was a bitter sweet moment for me. Listening to each individual, echo of frustrations and gentle whispers of hope, came from their voices. Even though, the incident led to this meeting was disheartening, it helped shine light on the bigger picture.
Liberian Afro Pop artist Robert Blackdiamond organized the meeting. He is part of a movement that is calling for Liberian entertainers to boycott the LEA until there is evidence of some level of transparency. This movement was started by movie director, Alvin Nyemah. In thin air, entertainers heard that Liberian social media blogger/writer Berenice Mulubah is on the committee of the LEA and her partner Artist Jon Bricks was nominated; also a movie which she is affiliated with, was nominated. That raised the eyebrows of some entertainers, sensing a possibility of corruption based on conflict of interest.
Majority of the entertainers concluded that there will always be some level of conflict of interest, for the mere fact that committee members are experts from within the entertainment industry. Therefore, the committee members need to have integrity and the LEA needs to establish a code of conduct for its committee members. Even though, there were conflict of interest, all those were nominated, deserves the nomination.
The discussion wasn’t only about the LEA and its flaws but also UNITY. All the participants agreed that there has to be unity among the entertainers if they wish to be heard. There were many suggestions made, to be presented to the LEA, with hope they be used.
Some of the voices that stood out during the call was, Charles Dunbar, Chris Deshield, Prince Whyee, Lincoln Ward and an artist in disguise, called Dark Vodka. Some entertainer’s comments helped to lighten the mood and one of those was Hot Cherry.
When it comes down to it, all the entertainers want is respect and fairness. The LEA is more than just an award show. It is a sign of hope and worthy. Being the step child to Liberia’s growth and development process, the LEA is the first organization to give the entertainers some love and they want it to be right. How could you blame them? You can’t.
The discussion was fruitful.