The shocking reveal of the Black Entertainment Television Awards, popularly known as the BET awards, for the category of Viewers’ Choice Best International New Act award, has continuously made a loud buzz all over the internet.
In the blink of an eye, one could easily pick out the possible winner of the BET Viewers’ Choice Best International New Act award as the nominees list contained some of the currently most global trending artists, Including, Werenoi, Camidoh, Pabi Cooper, Libianca, Raye, Flo, MC Ryan and Nigerian’s great singer and songwriter, Ahmed Ololade, popularly called Asake who has been topping national and international musical charts in recent times, from one hit song to another, months after months. Many would agree that his nomination for the BET awards was a great stepping stone in his music career as his global recognition journey only just started about eight months ago after the release of his debut album Mr. Money With The Vibe in 2022 which made groundbreaking records across the world, So as much as his fans didn’t see his nomination coming, it also was not much of a surprise for a lot.
However, there can never be a more shocking moment for the crowd than at the 23rd BET award ceremony, which took place on June 25th, 2023. Libianca Kenzonkinboum Fonji, widely known as ‘Libianca’ was declared the BET Viewers’ Choice Best International New Act. The whole public went agog. Libianca delivered the trending song “People” (check on me), a masterpiece which triumphed over Asake (Mr. Money), Werenoi, Camidoh, Pabi Cooper, Raye, Flo, MC Ryan at the BET 2023 for the category of “Viewers’ Choice Best International New Act awards”.
This announcement posed to be one of the most engaging news in the history of BET awards as it has had millions of entertainment fans screaming in disbelief, some in excitement, and others in a state of dilemma, considering if it was an unfair or well-deserved win.
The Cameroonian-American Afrobeats singer, Libianca, has been in the music industry as a singer and songwriter since as far as 2021, when she was spotted as a contestant on the twenty-first season of NBC’s The Voice with Blake Shelton as her coach who she had chosen over John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande.
She recently gained a wider range of international recognition after the release of her debut single “People” which is said to have been inspired by cyclothymia and gave her the career breakthrough she needed as it made its way up to No. 1 in the UK Afrobeats chart, No. 2 on the US Billboard Afrobeat chart, No. 2 in UK Official chart and top chart on many other recognized platforms. Let us not forget its notorious buzz on TikTok and every other social media platform you can think of and now won its way up to BET Viewers’ Choice Best International New Act awards.
Libianca, became the first-ever Cameroon music artist to get nominated for a BET award and the first Cameroonian music artist to win a BET Viewers’ Choice Best International New Act award. This takes the Cameroon music industry to a whole new level of global recognition in world music and entertainment industry. It’s safe to say that Libianca is a force that is currently driving the Cameroonian music industry to the spotlight among other artists.
According to BBC, Libianca wrote the song in November last year, after she had thrown a Thanksgiving party where she « felt invisible ».
« I’d been at a low point of my life for at least two weeks and I was just like, ‘I can’t take any more of this, There were self-harmful thoughts, over-thinking, really anxious – a bunch of things going on in my head, » she explains over the phone from Paris.
She also told Brooke Bailey during an interview that the inspiration for her song “People” had come from a place of depression as she explained her journey to achieving a groundbreaking song.
– “The inspiration came from my depression. What I was going through at the time was, you know, it was just a very low, low moment. I wasn’t feeling, you know, inspired to do anything really. Just wanted to stay in bed, cry my eyes out, shut the world out, isolate, I knew that writing or just going into this studio would make me feel better. The night after I posted the song on TikTok. I woke up, my manager, he’s my best friend too, but Metro wakes me up in the morning and he’s like, “You have to see this. You have to see this man. You have to see.” I’m like, “What’s going on?” I’m not a morning person, I wake up and we see videos being done to the sound already and it’s already at 80K “Ah, wow.” it’s like plus 10,000 followers, you refresh it plus another 10K is like, “Okay.” And I just froze. I mean, I didn’t know what to do.”
One would notice the genuine surprise on her face as she was announced the winner and presented the award. Since the BET award, fans all over the world have been encouraged and inspired to “build beauty out of messes”, a Libianca fan explained that this means to take advantage of your worse moments by channeling all that hurt, grief, sadness, loneliness, disappointment or whatever the feeling maybe, channel it into something productive.
Gallery: Diaspora Excellence Award 2023
At the occasion organized in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Naija Diaspora Magazine, several individuals, companies, governors, traditional rulers, business owners, government agencies and parastatals as well as politicians were honored for their outstanding performances in 2023. The publication celebrated its
10th anniversary with a two-day event that included the Symposium and Annual Diaspora Excellence Award. This platform provided a unique opportunity for collective learning, networking, and gaining insights into government policies that relate to communities. Attendees were empowered to navigate pathways of positive change. The Symposium lecture was titled: ‘Building a Nation’, with several dignitaries as speakers.
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Inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament Triumphs Amidst Adversity
On the 6th of August 2023, a monumental event took place at St Michel, Terminus, Douala, marking the commencement of the First Edition of the Anambra State Union Football Tournament. Under the stewardship of Sir Emeka Uzoka, Chairman of the Anambra State Union, this tournament emerged as a testament to unity, sportsmanship, and the indomitable spirit of the Anambra community.
The opening ceremony set the stage for what would become an unforgettable showcase of camaraderie and competitive fervor. A true celebration of tradition and athleticism, the tournament kicked off with a Veteran Match at 2:00 pm. The clash between Aguata Local Government Union and Nnewi Local Government Union resulted in a gripping encounter, with Aguata securing victory with a 2-0 score line.
Distinguished figures graced the event with their presence, adding prestige to the occasion. Among them was Mr. Oliva Ochi, Consul 1 at the Consulate General Douala, representing the esteemed Consul General, H.E. Amb. (Mrs.) Efe A. Clark-Omeru.
The honorable gathering was further enriched by the participation of key personalities, including: Hon. BIC Okwujiaku, President of the Nigerian Community Douala, HRH Eze Jonathan T. Onyenagubor, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Cameroon, Sir, Lovinus Ezeh, Vice President, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Alex Nwoye, Vice President 2, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Uche Obiekwe, Patron of the Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Innocent Obiorah Odoh, Patron Anambra State Union, Chairmen of Imo and Enugu States Union, Esteemed members of the Anambra State Union.
The event also extended its reach to include esteemed guests from Douala and beyond.
In recognition of the paramount importance of safety and well-being, the organizers ensured the presence of dedicated medical health and security personnel, assuring attendees a secure environment throughout the event.
Despite the inclement weather characterized by heavy rain, the unyielding spirit of the Anambra community remained unshaken. A testament to their passion for football and unity, a remarkable number of attendees braved the elements, converging to witness the unfolding of history on the lush fields of St Michel, Terminus.
The final was held on Sunday 12th of November 2023 @ Bonamousadi Stadium Douala. Oyi Local Government lifted the trophy while Aguta Local Government took the bronze and Idemili Local Government took silver.
The inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament stands as an embodiment of shared values, intercommunity collaboration, and the timeless appeal of sport. This event not only etched a significant mark on the sporting calendar but also served as a reminder of the resilience and unity that define the Anambra community.
As the tournament concluded its first chapter, it left in its wake a legacy of camaraderie, sporting excellence, and the promise of more remarkable editions to come.
CAMEROON: Miniature Africa
Cameroon, nestled in the heart of Central Africa, is a country with a captivating blend of rich cultural diversity, stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. Often referred to as « Miniature Africa, » Cameroon offers travelers a unique and multifaceted experience, showcasing the continent’s essence in a single destination.
With more than 250 ethnic groups and languages, Cameroon is a melting pot of diverse cultures, traditions and customs. The capital city, Yaoundé, and the economic hub, Douala, provide excellent starting points to dive into Cameroon’s cultural wealth.
Cameroon’s diverse geography offers a plethora of breathtaking landscapes, each with its unique charm.
In the West, the mist-covered peaks of Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in West Africa, beckon adventurous hikers to climb and witness awe-inspiring views of the surrounding scenery.
Towards the North, the Sahelian region boasts vast savannas and semi-arid landscapes, offering visitors an opportunity to spot magnificent wildlife, and in the East, the dense rainforests of the Congo Basin teem with a rich variety of flora and fauna, including gorillas, chimpanzees, and exotic bird species.
Tourism Spots on a Budget
Here are a selection of the most distinguished and captivating tourist destinations in Cameroon. These remarkable locales boast accessibility without undue strain on one’s financial resources, making them irresistible choices for tourists.
Mefou National Park:
Mefou National Park houses the Mefou Primate Sanctuary, a rescue center managed by Ape Action Africa. With over 300 rare and endangered primates, it’s a significant conservation project in Africa, providing lifelong care and rehabilitation for animals rescued from illegal trades.
Formerly known as Victoria, Limbe is a port city with a diverse flora and fauna influenced by its colonial past. The Limbe Wildlife Centre/Botanical Centre offers a close-to-nature experience, rescuing and caring for ill-treated and endangered animals.
Mount Cameroon, also called the « Chariot of the Gods, » is West Africa’s highest mountain and an active volcano. A popular destination for adventurers and hikers, the trek offers stunning views, diverse landscapes and encounters with wildlife like monkeys and birds.
Kribi Beach, in the southwestern region, boasts long white sand beaches and clear waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. Visitors can also enjoy the Chutes de la Lobé waterfall, where they can swim under the falls. Local cuisine and seafood delicacies await at various restaurants.
Korup National Park:
Korup National Park, renowned for its bird species, offers pristine tropical wilderness. Visitors can enjoy lodging infrastructure and spot unique primates like the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee and Perseus’s red colobus. Located near the ocean, Mundemba serves as a starting point for tours to the park, where guides often speak the local Cameroonian language.
Cameroon stands tall as a remarkable destination for audacious travelers seeking a blend of cultural diversity, awe-inspiring landscapes and thrilling adventures. From the depths of the rainforests to the heights of its mountains, and from the bustling cities to the serene beaches, the land beckons with open arms, ready to share its enchanting beauty and warm hospitality with all who venture to explore its wonders. As tourism in Cameroon continues to grow sustainably, the country’s potential as a captivating and memorable destination will undoubtedly flourish.