Ernest Kanjo / Friday, 16 January 2015 00:17


Everything else could be common in the Cameroonian music landscape, except child singers. Rhumtah (a child singers band that rose in the late 80s and became very prominent), until now, had remained the most memorable chapter in the child-singing history of Cameroonian music. When the five child star singers turned into grown-ups and eventually dispersed into other spheres, the terrain became vastly uninhabited, creating an uncomfortable vacuum that stayed around for so long. Sporadic attempts at introducing professional child-singing winded away at inception and fruition became a hard-to-come-by reality. When years later, neighbouring Nigeria sounded the Destiny Kids (later became Destined Kids) trumpets, it aroused a lot of attention. The talented kids whipped their performance across minds and fast became celebrities, even within Cameroon. That kids too could perform the art of singing with welcoming mastery soon began to be an acceptable reality, yet fewer music producers dared to take the risk of sending them to the forefront. In the Cameroonian diaspora, the story was not so different. Either Cameroonians who had travelled abroad and turned into musicians or the ones born by Cameroonian parents emerged and shined as artists, but hardly would child singers be spotted. It therefore required a courageous Cameroonian parent to dislocate the statusquo. USA-based Marie Ndapqwe is by now printing her name in the golden annals of music production for having bore the risk of letting two of hers climb the stage of professional singing. C-Boyz (Bonaventure Jr, 11 and Denzel, 9) are now a sensation within the African diaspora. For the past couple of months, the child singers have been displaying some inert talent that is now known to plunge their audience into some inexplicable music fit. “I saw it coming when they were much younger and the best I could give these kids was encourage them and assist in making their music dreams turn into reality,” Ndapqwe told TIPTOPSTARS. Since 2010, the C-Boyz (“C” stands for caring), the child band has been sojourning the United States, but the climax of their game came in 2014 when the media joined the chorus. On Batimu FM’s Talent Promo and Afrikka Radio’s African Cocktail respectively, the kids and their mum who doubles a C-Boyz’s manager told their story to the utter amazement of listeners. “They are just fascinating and I felt so proud listening to them talk and their beautiful songs play,” Sendy, a Maryland listener of African Cocktail told the show’s host soon after Bonaventure and their manager were interviewed. Perhaps, the best artist of the year, grabbed from the Elleganzza Awards that took place in Minnesota a couple of days ago, was a clear indication that the up-and-coming musicians are poised to propel their aspirations to the apex of the art. We caught up with Marie Ndapqwe soon after this maiden public recognition and amongst other things, the manager of these talented child singers (Bonaventure plays the Trombone while Denzel plays the guitar and Cello) explained what this award means to the entire team that is backing C-Boyz. Excerpts of the interview with Editor Ernest Kanjo!

Ernest Kanjo (EK): Marie welcome to TIPTOPSTARS! How are you doing today?

Marie Ndapqwe (MN): Great and really thankful to God for the great things that are happening to us, especially the C-Boyz.

EK: What was the reaction of the C-Boyz when their name was pronounced?

MN: They were super excited.

EK: What was your reaction as their manager?

MN: I was overwhelmed and filled with joy.

EK: What is the meaning of this maiden recognition to the career of C- Boyz and to you their mum?

MN: This is a big encouragement and a challenge for us to work even harder and grab more awards.

EK: What have people been saying since the C-Boyz won this award?

MN: They have been raining them with praises and in most of what they say, people tell the boys that they are set to go places. Everyone is so involved with this new sensation and that makes me feel great.

EK: To whom are they dedicating it?

MN: They dedicated this prize to Elleganzza, Sampah the producer, Cameroonian singer B-1, their manager and fans.

EK: The C-Boyz were recently spotted in at an event in Maryland, could you explain what event it was and how did they get to be part of it?

MN: It was an album launch for one of Cameroon’s international artists, Alexis. E. They were special guest artists at the event and they had a brilliant performance as usual.

EK: It appears someone is interested in taking over the management of the C- Boyz, what can you tell us about that?

MN: Their mum is their manager but she has decided to work alongside other entertainment outfits. So, we now have Bespontube Entertainment on board. This production house will help coordinate their activities as well as ensure visibility.

EK: What is their next project and how soon should we expect it?

MN: They are currently working on a new track titles Mall of America, call it MOA. They will get into the studio phase this summer and soon after that, they will be on international radio and TV stations for interviews. They’ll be touring as well.

EK: Lately, we have noticed a lot of support for the C-Boyz by older artists. Tell us more about this interest being developed in the kid singers and who would you like to pay tribute to as far as this is concerned?

MN: C-Boyz have displayed a lot of talent and this really seems to have attracted a lot of attention and fortunately, older artists are showing up to support them. They have pledged to ensure that the C-Boyz get to higher heights in their career. I must thank



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