Do You Think BET Was Fair to African Artistes?


Singer, Dencia may not be commercially successful yet, but when it comes to speaking her mind, the lady spits fire.

She is not done with her tweets about the recently held BET awards in Los Angeles, where she claimed that the African artistes nominated for a category were not given their awards at the main event.

According to Dencia, who said she was at the event, the Best International Act: Africa category was pre -recorded and the African artiste who won that category was presented the award in a hall “filled with seat fillers.”

In a BBM voice note sent to Life and Beat, Dencia said, “This year, I was close to somebody who was nominated and I was with them all through. They were not happy about what happened.”

Dencia said she found out that the African acts who were nominated for the award bought their air tickets to America, adding that they had to pay for their hotel accommodation. The only thing they were given, Dencia claimed, was the ticket to the event.

The African acts had got their award three hours prior to the main event. Why would an African get an award in America that only Africans would know that he got an award. Why are you wasting money? In fact, awards do not even come with money, they come with recognition. Why are you getting recognition in Africa that you already have?

“Look at Adele and other Europeans that had a breakthrough in the US. Most people didn’t know who they were but after the awards, they were recognised. Why can’t Africans be given such opportunity? Why would an African come all the way to America to be given an award that only Africans would know about? What is the point? I know the artistes love this and they are okay with it, but we shouldn’t be okay with it.”

Dencia said she had expected other artistes to join her in the fight but nobody did.

“When I tweeted BET, I was expecting other Africans to do same and bombard them with tweets until they apologise and change things. I was even expecting the artistes to tweet BET and ask them to apologise. But no, that wasn’t the case. I was called a hater and people said I was hitting Ice Prince. But I didn’t even tweet Ice Prince, I tweeted BET because I am not scared of them. Why would I want to lie about my fellow artiste? Come on! If we don’t do anything about it, next time, we won’t be nominated or if we are nominated, we will receive the award in a bush.”

However, reacting to Dencia’s allegation in a statement sent to Life and Beat, Michael D. Armstrong, Senior Vice President and General Manager, BET International explained that BET International proudly introduced the Best International Act category in 2010 to give the same kind of exposure to African and British artistes. In 2011, the award evolved into Best International Act: Africa.

“The Best International Act: Africa award was awarded this year to Ice Prince by Sam Sarpong and featured in the broadcast of the BET Awards 13 on BET International on July 2. As is the case with most major awards, it is not possible from a logistical point of view to feature all the BET awards categories and winners within the live broadcast of the show. The fact that an award is not presented during the show does not detract from the significance of the award or undermine the profound respect and admiration that BET has for the nominees.”

Armstrong said the African Act category was not the only award that was not presented during the live screening.

“Awards which were not presented during the live event included the Best Female R&B/Pop Artiste Award, Best Group Video of the Year, Video Director of the Year, Best Actress, Subway Sportsman/Sportswoman of the Year categories, Centric Award and BET International categories,” he said.

On the issue of the African artistes buying their flight tickets to Los Angeles, Armstrong said, “All African nominees participating in the 2013 awards were offered a business class return trip to Los Angeles and had hotel rooms arranged to facilitate their presence in LA, and were welcomed with an official ‘Bien venue Nominee Reception’, sponsored by BET International and an airline partner.

“All of the African nominees (except TuFace who was not present) joined BET International in LA this year for the BET Experience and BET Awards, enjoying the hospitality and the invaluable opportunities for coverage/exposure to BET audiences and media in the US, the world’s biggest music market.”

He added that all of the African nominees walked the BET Awards red carpet, visited the 2013 nominee gift suite and participated in media interviews in the BET Awards radio remote room for wider exposure to the US radio marketplace.

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Written by OMG Tatafo

"Tatafo"ing is my life mission and commission.

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