University Don Hails Fako Cultural Artist
By Moki S. Mokondo in Buea, for Fako News Centre
The former pioneer editor-in-chief, MINAJ Broadcast International, Nigeria ,now senior lecturer, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Buea, Cameroon, Funge Diffang has called on Fako elites in the Diaspora to throw their weight behind a Fako based cultural artist Tata-Kinge. The university don explained that the artist has exceptional talents that can be exploited to sell the Bakweri culture beyond Cameroon. According to the acting Head of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tata-Kinge is endowed with talents that enabled him to transform a typical traditional dance chacha of the Bakweris into a hot piece that has taken over the stage of most night clubs and parties organised in Cameroon. Mr. Diffang argued that if his music could go beyond cultural boundaries within Cameroon, then it is possible that the artist would win more fans if he travels to stage out of the country. He disclosed that modern traditional music from Africa is gaining grounds in the western world due to the cultural values they expose. In this light, Mr. Diffang advised that Fako elites abroad could sponsor the artist to produce professionally mastered video clips of his traditional tracks in the album. He goes further to surmise that they could organise a concert abroad where they could invite and sponsor Tata-Kinge by paying him up-front to perform with his dancers. In the process, they would sell his video clips as well.
The University Don maintained that this is a good strategy to assist the artist raise money. Mr Diffang argues that it has almost become impossible for Cameroon artists to depend solely on the sales of their work of arts. He said that there is a high rate of piracy in Cameroon that has become almost impossible to be avoided. The don disclosed that in his university days as a student and as a worker in Nigeria, he realised that the Nigerians abroad usually organised concerts for their home-based artist to stage overseas. During their stay there, Nigerians lodged them in their homes to avoid spending much money renting hotel rooms. This exercise, he added, also exposes the artist to better producers who could take them international. Mr. Diffang maintained that if the Bakwerians fail to motivate the artist armed himself financially, they risk loosing him and it could take decades for another cultural artist like Tata Kinge to emerge.
Talking to Fako News Centre, the artist Tata Kinge attested that he had received invitation letters several time from Fako elites overseas to take part in cultural festivals organised there. One thing he cried is the fact that they send these invitations without a flight ticket. ‘’How on earth would I raise more than a million FCFA, just for my flight, then what about my accommodation’’ he added.
Tata-Kinge explained that when people hear his music booming the air waves, they just imagine the millions he has takien home. According to him they fail to understand that those are the works of bootleggers who are now making money from the works of artists without compensating them. He however thanked some Fako elites abroad for their support in making his works of art, but added that they should avoid limiting themselves only on the studio works. They should support him take the Bakweri culture international. The artist maitained that it is now left on the Bakweri people to choose the way they want to use him. If they wish to use him as a palm wine tapper who chooses to tap his palm tree without felling it down, it means they have made a wise choice. But if they decide to be that tapper who would fell down the whole tree to get out the entire product from his tree, then they may not live to enjoy palm wine in future.
Tata Kinge, who is in studio for another album typical of Bakweri traditional tracks, has taken a temporal halt to launch a one track Obama Album. The artist took many fans around Buea aback on Saturday November 8, 2008 when he stormed the Barrack Obama Festival; a night organised in Buea to celebrate US president-elect Barrack Obama’s Victory. He has distributed free copies of the album to media houses in Cameroon for broadcast.