Home The News Sonnah Awards holds Cameroon spellbound
Sonnah Awards holds Cameroon spellbound
News / Latest / By Ernest Kanjo (USA) & Tudi Ndi Nathalie (Yaounde Hilton) / Monday, 30 December 2013 03:01


Sonnah Awards 2013 Spot

Someone mentioned emphatically that Cameroon has not witnessed such an event for quite some time now. “Sonnah Awards was beyond my imagination and expectation. Our country has not had an event like this for so long now. It was really great and I doff my hat to the Team Sonnah,” Derbena, a Cameroonian in Ohio who watched the December 29 recognition event told TIPTOPSTARS.

The night of Sunday December 29, 2013 will definitely stay forever on the minds of Cameroonians. For another rare moment, the entire nation was hooked on one medium to live the great moments of a highly publicized event which observers have termed a handsome end-of-year gift – Sonnah!

As hundreds of guests streamed into the sumptuous hall that accommodated the maiden Cameroon Academy Awards CCA, it was evident that someone’s dreams, nursed for years, had become an undeniable reality. Akim Macauley, CEO of the Cameroon Academy Awards might have felt the goodness of this reality running down his spine, but the men and women he sought to recognize for the great strives definitely can tell the story of feelings better. The entire nation watched them being ushered into the hall by the red carpet (with all that comes along with it). What a beautiful way of saying ‘thanks for making Cameroon proud by exploring your God-given skills’.

Such a dream like Sonnah can only be made sweeter when people who matter both in the sector and the administration accompany it. That explains why the country’s Ministry of Culture stood by Sonnah to the letter and did so even on the awards night. Technical Adviser Asheri Kilo was conspicuously present and shared the great moments with guests to the event. On his part, the General Manager of the Cameroon Radio and Television Corporation, CRTV came in person to ensure that Sonnah was a resounding success, not only for its live broadcast on the State-run channel, but the running of the event in the hall itself. Each time Amadou Vamoulke got to the podium to speak, one could read emotions on his face. “We did it,” Vamoulke might have been telling himself. He should be a happy GM by all means now!

For one thing, Sonnah I stood out as a crowd-puller. Late comers might have had a difficult time finding seats. In short, it was a full hall!

The event was being watched live from the USA, Europe and other countries, thanks to some online TV  and satelite services . It was being twitted, Liked  and commented on Facebook by lovers of entertainment spread all over the globe. We however followed up with some jottings:

Sonnah MCeeing: Renowned CRTV contemporary generation duo display mastery of game

Ivo Partem and Gwen Fongo are disputably the most spectacular Cameroonian TV show hosts, today’s younger generation can be proud of, at least for now. Both, staff with CRTV, have been some of the most sought-for MCs in town. Ivo even owns the reputation of being one of the best MCs in Cameroon as at now, the cities of Yaounde and Douala can attest. At Sonnah, the duo simply gave their names/reputation a good representation. “They were perfect and I enjoyed the smoothness in the MCeeing. Ivo and Gwen flow so well and I think they were an added impetus to the event,” said the Ohio keen viewer of Sonnah. It should be noted that Ivo is host of Bonjour, the popular daybreak show on CRTV while Gwen hosts the age-old Sunday afternoon magazine show, Tam-Tam Weekend. Both host other show on radio and on TV as well.

Ben Decca makes startling revelation

Guests to Sonnah I were stunned when veteran makossa artist, Ben Decca revealed that the best Musical archievement prize he won was the first he was receiving at home throughout his music career. Ben Decca who fought hard to hold back tears of joy regretted that whereas he has had countless recognitions and prizes abroad, no one, except Sonnah had ever thought he deserved enough to be rewarded back home. “Je remercier Sonnah Awards pour cette initiative et honneur,” he however said. Ben Decca who has spent long years in the diaspora has of late frequented the United States of America. He has been in music for more than three decades and is known for his extraordinary voice and soul-searching songs.

Ninah’s Dowry team steals show

Also at Sonnah (it’s been the case with many other awards throughout 2013), the men and women who make up the cast and crew of the award-winning Ninah’s Dowry were seen more often on stage at the Hilton. Reason – Ninah’s Dowry’s picked up prizes in several categories including best film, best director, best lead actress and best D.O.P which went to Victor Viyuoh, Mbufung Seikeh and Yibain Emile-Aime Chah respectively. “I thank God for this….and we hope to keep working harder….,” Yibain aka Ancestor said. From where the ND boys and girls were seated, it was smiles and broad smiles!

Best supporting actor Alenne pays tribute to father

Actor Alenne Menget, to the utter satisfaction of fans of his father (of blessed memory) displayed filial faithfulness to the legendary artist. Reacting to his best supporting actor prize, the multi-talented artist and journalist told the hall that his father is the reason for the great achievement he is today savouring. “He remains my father,” Alenne said as he was dedicating the prize to Menget John, the latter himself winner of several awards including the 2007 ACE Awards where he emerged victorious in the best veteran actor category. Alenne, it should be recalled was scored for Far, an up-coming movie co-produced by AGE and Cradle Rocks Productions Int’l in which the actor performed so brilliantly. Talking to TIPTOPSTARS soon after descending the podium, the Douala-based filmmaker and documentary producer said he was elated and inspired to work even harder to stay at the top.

Agbor Gilbert praises Sonnah Awards                 

“It was a fantastic start and I’m quite happy about that,” Agbor Gilbert told TIPTOPSTARS Editor on the line to Yaounde. “We have made observations and we hope next year, it will be a better edition,” he said further. Reacting to Far’s prize, Agbor, who is a frontline film producer said: “I’m a happy man. Alenne performed so brilliantly and I think this is a well deserved prized. I must congratulate him on the great job and to the rest of the Far cast and crew, I wish to say thank you for making us proud.”

Stanley Enow: “I’m popular beyond Cameroon”

Renowned urban artist, Stanley Enow, now a sensation in Cameroon told guests at Sonnah I that his popularity has gone beyond Cameroon. Receiving his prize as the best artist of the year, the author of Hein Pere (the hit track that ferried the young singer to fame), said he was a household musician in Gabon and other countries in Africa. “I’m proud that Cameroon now has a superstar,” the urban musician told his audience. The award-winning musician however praised and paid tribute to Prince Eyango, Petit Pays and X-Maleya. “They are much older and better than me…I am still a beginner,” he humbly said.

Catchy musical interlude: Govina rekindles sweet old memories

If Sonnah I was a resounding success, it was partly thanks to thought of making it resemble Cameroon as much as possible. One of the ways the organizers did this was to have one of their guest artists perform a track that rekindles sweet old memories of our beloved fatherland. Naya Naya, the said track by Govina Ndinga Essomba got the hall in thunderous applause when the author and two of his dancers performed it. The reaction in the hall was that of flowing emotions as Govi (as the bikutsi singer is affectionately called), now a little advanced in age, and danced just like he did in 1989 when the piece got Cameroon on its feet.

Last-minute erratum provokes online roar

Scores of Cameroonians who watched Sonnah live (especially from the diaspora) have been reacting bitterly to a last-minute change which according to them marred the event. They are questioning the reason for switching the best TV show presenter, previously announced to have been won by STV’s Thierry Ngongang Carte sur Table) to CRTV’s Charles Ebune (Global Watch). According to some observers, such errors may have a toll on the credibility of such a great initiative.

Sonnah: TIPTOPSTARS covering live from Germany, USA, Yaounde

As promised the frontline entertainment magazine TIPTOPSTARS stayed on a minute-by-minute coverage of the maiden edition of the Cameroon Academy Awards with three active reporters deployed. While Yaounde correspondent Tudi Ndi Nathalie cruised in the hall at the Hilton, picking views from organizers and laureates, Ernest Kanjo (USA) and Marcel Adig (Germany), followed up from the diaspora. From time to time, our reporter put us on line with some guests/actors for follow-up questions. The online magazine that is currently observing a recess interrupted its holiday to provide Sonnah the media attention it deserved. Interviews coming up soon!!!!!!

Last Updated on Monday, 30 December 2013 11:42


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