News / Latest / Anang Christy Ijang / Monday, 28 July 2014 00:00
west don photo tiptopstarsOne of the most memorable moves that came alongside the liberalization of the audio-visual sector in Cameroon is the featuring of local music (Cameroonian music in this case) on the airwaves for a greater portion of daily broadcast. Within the first few years, if not months, some privately owned radio and television stations respected this. But no sooner had this worked out than foreign music re-emerged to win more airtime to the detriment of local music. In other public places where music is maximally used, foreign music stole the show as well. Laudable attempts to re-inject local music have failed and it is now clear that foreign music has dug really deep to an extent where it is more convenient to say it has killed local music completely than to state otherwise. However, some Cameroonians have vowed that this current dispensation cannot prevail – they just cannot fold their arms and watch Cameroonian music being flushed down the gutters. It is to correct this wrong that Kumba-bred West Don has risen with Takeover, a concept that is aimed at having Cameroonian music dominate public places and the media. The King of Ajebota as the Afro Hip-Hop singer is affectionately called thinks it is time to sensitize his country to the level where acceptance of Cameroon’s musical prowess will become the order of the day. TIPTOPSTARS’ Anang Christy Ijang quickly developed interest in this latest cultural concept and rushed to West Don, soon after the young singer got back to town from Nigeria where he spends a greater part of his time. The reporter and artist settled for a comprehensive talk recently in Kumba. Excerpts!

Anang Christy Ijang (ACI): Hello West Don, you’re welcome to TIPTOPSTARS!

West Don (WD): Thanks very much Christy. I’m thrilled to be here!

ACI: So what is The Takeover Concept all about?
WD: The main idea behind this concept is tocreate an opportunity or room for Cameroonian music to gain grounds on public platforms including streets and the media.

 ACI: Why a takeover concept?

WD: I realized it was time for Cameroonians artists to see reasons to and start promoting their own music and eventually inspire our artists to promote our rich cultural heritage. By so doing, we will be molding another generation of music legends not just in Cameroon but in Africa just as it was back in the nineties.

ACI: What inspired the takeover concept?
WD: I spent some time in Nigeria and Ghana and realized that whereas only ten percent of foreign music is exploited, these countries play ninety percent of home-produced music. This inspired me to come up with the Takeover Concept which if well implemented, might just be one important solution to our struggling music industry’s several problems.

 ACI: How have your peers or fellow musicians reacted to this idea?

WD: Oh! They have been very interested in and eager to know more about the concept. In fact, every artist has seen it as an evolution and are all ready to contribute to its success. And trust me, even the French-speaking artists are beginning to warm up to this idea, because, we are all aware that we can only succeed if we stand together.

ACI: The media have a pivotal role to play in this, what has been their respond?

WD: You are right! Truly this whole idea can never succeed without the full involvement and support of the media. Most media outlets have embraced the concept.We already started discussions at different levels with a few in the South West region and they have assured us of their total support. 

ACI: How much progress has been made since you started working on this concept?

WD: So far we’ve had meetings with some DJs, Radio and TV stations in the South West and North West regions, but I think that if we have to fully succeed in this, the government needs to support this concept.

ACI: What difficulties have you encountered in the course of the implementation of the Takeover Concept?
WD: We have faced minor challenges here and there, but the biggest one has been from DJs who complain that their customers are mostly requesting foreign music and they fear losing them if they don’t comply.

ACI: Why do you think Cameroonians consume more foreign than local music?
WD: This has to do a lot with quality and creativity. That’s why quality music born out of inspiration is always at the center of our deliberations. If things are done in the right way, there will be a definite turn around. We need to return to Cameroonian music.

ACI: You are now trying to takeover K-Town. How far do you plan on taking the concept?

WD: The Takeover Concept is not only for K-Town, but for Cameroon as a whole. Kumba is just the starting point. Of course, it is my town and I think it’s a good thing to make it my starting point.

ACI: Thank you for talking to us and good luck with the takeover concept.
WD: Thank you too!




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