Tuesday, February 18, 2014

MTN i-fest music concert Douala feat Jovi, Davido, 2face


A couple of days before January 15th, I received a text message from the ultimate texter, uh huh, MTN. Mayne, I remember one girl posting on facebook, “MTN sends me more texts than all chateurs put together.” It means MTN is your highest chateur noh! Aight, I’d deleted mine but what I received was something like this “MTN I-fest music show 15 Fevrier 2014, 15.00H, Maison du Parti, Bonanjo, Douala avec Jovi, Duc-Z, Maalox, Sultan Oshimin, Franky-P, Davido et 2 face. Gratuite! C’est le Njoh K tu veux voir!” Immediately, I was like “I’m in” then as they accelerated the texts, it kept me reminded. But on the 15th as I got to work I don’t know why it just died away. I asked my neighbour n buddy Larry if he would go. He said it would be too crowded, we’re both going to work, we’ll both be tired after that, the Njoh part would bla bla bla spoil things so we’re not going. Yup. Right, I lost interest. After work I came back and we were chatting and he received a call from one of the MTN big wigs and left for the road. When he came back, he held two y’ello tickets shaped like small arm bands and went, “I didn’t want to go but the director of MTN Douala gave me these two VIP tickets for my wife and I. she’s sick and going to hospital so she’ll not go. You coming?” and held one ticket out towards me. 

I didn’t say anything, didn’t receive the ticket but went towards my towel and picked it up, then told him. “Oboy, you too go pick towel, go pick towel!” We both laughed. Aight, after loitering around the house till 6.00 PM we taxied like a plane to Maison du Parti. Nothing was going on yet but the place bi dong enter! It was a full house. Imagine if we had gone there at their 15.00H! I was amazed at the GMT:BMT, that is GMT:Black Man Time! The boring MC was trying to animate with some “Y’ello call your favourite number, call God, call heaven, call Hell promotion rates and some games.” Who cares! We want see na wa Jovi, Sultan, 2baba and Davido. At about 8.00 PM, the show started with Maalox singing his “augmenter le prix, move, on vas toujour boire! La bière c’est combien ici, six cent, sept cent, huit cent, neuf cent, augmenter le prix, move, on vas toujour boire” The crowd was animated. He unleashed the second song, “Choupo Mouting ne sort pas! Il n’est sort pas” yoh, hold up Maalox, abeg compose this new one “Achille Webo n’est entre pas , il doit sortir, il est mouilleur” Da guy di mess bad. Chei.

Next artist, yi bi be na who again? ahn han, my boy Jovi, Cameroon’s 2pac and a hot looking girl called Reniss, “Bastard fine chap, inside bastard fine style, bastard kwacoco inside mbanga soup, Jovi na bastard grand, inside bastard fine style…since way I drop HIV, no man no want fuck with me…” there was “Achombo house” but there was no Krotal. Another song, “man pass man, no man no pass me, (hmm) if u know man way yi pass me show me, I know say yi no dey” hmm, Jovi with his big ego. And the last Jovi song was…it just had to be that pioneer hit that put Anglophone Cameroon hip hop on the map right! Tututung Tututung, “me I bi don for kwat, I say me I bi don for kwat, I di lob I do my thing quarter style!” yoh, I love that song mayne! But JOV how much weed did you lob be4 that concert uh! He gyrated the crowd y’all.

Duc Z. This guy first pissed me off by dancing Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” on stage and moon walking to animate the crowd. Some cheered, others booed. I was on the booing end. Boooooo, what’s the originality there dude? Are you Kris bad, another MJ wannabe? We want you, to be you, Duc-Z. Do Duc-Z mayne, don’t do Michael Jackson, period. The guy’s even dead. And you’re not Biblical Lazarus. The crowd loved his music though, “Je ne prend pas le lait” and that his hit song, I don’t even know the title. 

Then ma man, that tall, limping gaited, reggae Mister from Yaounde, Sultan Oshimin. I loved this guy. He didn’t only perform well but he connected with the crowd and rocked it well. With his wild Jamaican Patua that eluded me, I didn’t hear one thing. “seleseng, prikidi diki wamme wah…gua, gua, gua, gua, one, one” He understands performance, making the crowd participate n shout n scream n squeal n yell n clap. His climax was when he limped forward and screamed “JE DEMANDE A BABYLON DE LEGALISER LE BANGA!!!!!” Cafage scatter, “Yaaaaaaaaaaah!” Hehehe, Sultan na how many kilos you self-self smoke before you attack I-fest concert, uh? Your energy was off the hook. And he made us laugh with his next song “Brule le” “Brule tous les bandits au Cameroun” and the crowd went “Brule les, brule les, brules les” “Brule le viol au Cameroun” “Brule le(3x) everything he sang, we went “brule le(3x)” and then “Brule la corruption au Cameroun, on dit?” “Brule le(3x) “Uh! C’est ca le Francais, brule le? La corruption?” wu want die laugh. He got to it again. “Brule la corruption au Cameroun” “Brule la, brule la, brule la”. Ah Sultan, during Sean Paul’s concert here a couple of years ago, Sultan Oshiminh amazed Sean Paul with his music and energy while they were performing together on stage here in Douala and Sean Paul went “this is ma man, ma man, Sultan.I love this guy” 

Next up, Francophone RnB singer, Franky-P. No matter how talented Franky-P is, I think it was a blatant error to let him perform after Sultan. He didn’t rock the crowd like Sultan did, period. But he had some catchy tunes though, “c’est dangereux” and his new single, "champagne up". The Cameroonian artists were tight but they still need some work and a lot of MARKETING.

Now to warm up the mood for the two main guys from Naija, the DJ had to boom some tracks from his stereo, loud speakers at the optimum with ear drum destruction at the maximum, going all the way from the speakers right to the snickers in RiRi style, sound decibels rising n banging n flipping n intoxicating. First up, some American club bangers, “Lean back” “Niggas in Paris” etc. When he popped "Disque d'or" by the wildly popular French boy band Sexion d'Assaut we went crazy, "on est disque d'or, disque d'or(3x) and suddenly…“Oh ho, Stanley Enow (2x)” Cafiage chakara. “Il est ou, il est ou, on veut Stanley Enow!”….“Bayangi boy huh! You know what it is ahn han, Hein Pere, coughs, Hein Pere! Listen, chei. I dong suffer nobi small, see my….” The DJ played the first verse (there was no Stanely Enow) and then stopped. We rioted. He scratched tiak, tiak and then popped X-Maleya, “Mon Ex” “A vie, a vie, a vie-a vie a vie” Oooh Aaaah , we a vie'd. He unleashed, P-Square “Personally” and everybody danced it “detrimentally” and “crazily” and then stopped. 

Then a new MC, a real MC started animating this time. Not that yeye one at the beginning. Only the way that guy langsay Davido noh, you for check say na Obama. There was Davido’s buddy on stage, a fat guy that looked like Rick Ross. “Et maintenant, Davidoooooooo…” the beat rolled and then that unmistakable multiple stick playing of that hot club banger. Nobody came out at first and after ten seconds, before we lost patience and started throwing our Coke plastic bottles towards the stage like we’d been doing all evening, a stocky guy ran across the stage and stopped and started dancing. Cafage scatter again, but he was shaking so much we couldn’t see his face and some started wondering “Est-ce que c’est lui? C’est n’est pas Davido” As if he knew, he stopped and stared at the camera. The face echoed on the giant screen. Wild applause. The music stopped. He started with his lesser known song "All of you". Then he moved across his hit repertoire “Dami Duro” "One of a kind" "GOBE" and the big one was the hit of the moment,
All the girls them dey dance galala, But this new dance don cause casala
For this dance you no need shakara, Oya whine your hips like a this, Like a that Like a this Like a that To your right To the front And your yansh to the back Skelewu Skelewu Skelewu Skelewu…ske le le le le Skelewu and I was surprised to hear Cameroonians singing Yoruba and Francophones singing English throughout and jumping and clapping twice at that pretty part. Only the way the crowd danced “Skelewu”, Davido ordered the DJ to replay “Skelewu” and he did it all over again. And walked off stage.

Next was the king, the legend of Nigerian music. He was introduced and was applauded madly but not the way Davido was applauded. I think this is because of two reasons. 2Baba has been here so many times for concerts and we’ve celebrated him for so long. It was Davido’s first time here on concert and secondly, the majority of those present were youths his age. And the giant reason why I think he had greater reception is that…Jeez, he is the happening music guy right now. Skelewu is the biggest club banger all over Africa right now. Back to 3face, sorry 2face. He started off by saluting in French “Bonsoir Douala, Bonsoir Cameroun” Oooh Aaaah, “Je vous aime, Je vous aime” Oooh Aaaah. The ladies melted in love as usual. Wunna begin melt with love, yi go gi wunna bele. “2baba talk some other French again make I hear noh!” somebody said and we laughed. Since he was the main artist of the day, he played with a live band, his band. (I’d seen them once about a month ago at the Arrival hall on a South African airways flight.) 2baba always comes here with his band. All the other artists had played “sur la platine du DJ” including Davido. Jeez, the guy has mastered performance, it runs in his veins. Yi bi really baba. He doesn’t only sing, he engages the crowd extremely well, Sultan Oshimin times five. He played mostly from his first two albums, “One love” “True love” “Right here” “Keep on rocking” etc and then an extended almost fifteen minute version of “African queen”. In humility he also paid homage to other Nigerian artists, “ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Davido in the house tonight” Woooo. His band changed the rhythm to the beat of “Street credibility”. 2baba asked, “you know this guy? Give it up for Nice everybody” Woooo. His band unearthed “Possibility” “Everybody give a shout out to P-Square” 2baba said. “Yoooooooooooh.”

The guy also loaded us with humour. He sang all these at the end of the extended “African queen”. “Whether you fine oh! Whether you wowoh oh!” and he held the mic to the crowd and the response “you are my African queeeen.” “whether you yellow oh, you black oh, you green oh!” “you are my African queeeen” “and for all my ladies with the big booties” “you are…” He backed the crowd, bent and pushed his butt backwards singing, “this song is for African beauty, this song is for African booty, ladies shake your big African booty” and then he smacked his booty with his left hand, we exploded in laughter. “you are my…” he turned around and faced us, “Do the thing and give’em belle oh” he sang moving his waist back and forth. We chakara again.“2Baba na your work self,” some people shouted. 2Baba If you give some Douala girl mbelle, yi go bi na baby number eight since your wife Anne McCauley is pregnant for your baby number seven. We di count’am, your bebe them. And 2face said …Ei, ei, you reading this, stop reading for NGO, for njoh, I nobi MTN Njoh, you dong pay me how much? I had to wake up at midnight and write this thing till morning and bath and go to work. Ei, at work, I saw 2Baba again, flying on the Kenya Airways flight I was working on. My camera had a small malfunction so I couldn’t get a photo with him, damn it!  damn it! And then Davido pops up later, checking in on Arik Air flying to Lagos. I said “nah”, photo this time. And the last sentence you’re going to read is that my colleague, Nnaeto Yvette focuses on her I-pad and takes a photo of Davido and I, “click”