It is well known that for the past few years, BET has been awarding African acts their award in front of an empty hall ahead of the main event.
What’s even worse? The Best International Act – Africa is not televised in the United States either. Ghanacelebrities.com spoke to KKD, an African Adjudicators for BET’s International Acts – Africa, and he defended the giving of the awards in front of no audience. He says,
First, BET is a huge American brand so their audience is Americans or people living in America. They have a responsibility to their audience, to generate income, pay taxes to the government of America, create employment, promote artistes or performers with their culture, and to be competitive in their market.
Because of all these, they won’t lose what we call ‘the battle for the eye ball.’ So BET is doing us good by giving us (Africans) nominations or awards in their award scheme. BET may create opportunities for Africans by giving us nomination or award, recognize us for our culture or learn from them, but they do not see us as superior over theirs! They give recognition and praise to their best thinkers, creators, manufacturers, etc. Already, we don’t see our artistes or musicians as big! We see artistes in UK or America as bigger than our own, so the point is, in as much as we don’t see the greatness in our own; we shouldn’t expect others to see them as such!
Besides, not all awards are given on stage in this world. It happens at the OSCARS. I’m not justifying BET’s actions anyway. I’ve raised concerns on this issue before at BET’s jury meetings many times. I hope the status quo may change someday. All great cultures, appreciates their own! Let’s start believing and celebrating our own and others will follow suit.
According to him, African acts should use the opportunity to network with foreign acts instead,
Book a flight, book a hotel and fly all the way to America. It may not necessarily be about the award, but the artiste can use the privilege to build link, network, or collaborate with producers, artistes, media outfits, distribution and marketing outfits, etc.