Nchanji M. Njamnsi
An article on Cultur Ebene denies itself any informational value it might have had by repeatedly attacking the author of another article on Stanley Enow’s video “Njama Njama Cow” published in Je Wanda Magazine, and attacking the facts too weakly. This article deconstructs both articles, and yes, it is not really defending Je Wanda, but…
Two days after an article titled “Clip: Njama Njama cow de Stanley Enow, on en parle?” was published on a popular Cameroonian online magazine, Je Wanda, the Cameroonian blogosphere is hyperactive as if on steroids with outright fans and critics of Stanley facing off in emotional and unfortunately irrational standoffs as they try to outshout their opponents. This is in the wake of a lively rejoinder, titled “The Inept Stupidities of Je Wanda Mag Against Stanley Enow”, to the above mentioned article by a writer from another popular online Cameroonian magazine Cultur Ebene.
In the first article, while praising the video’s visuals, the writer expresses her dissatisfaction with the lyrical and vocal performances of the recent MAMA Award winner in his latest musical offering “Njama Njama Cow”. She especially frowns at his line (Brenda Biya wants … (bip) …now….) in which he seems to make improper statements regarding the President of the Republic’s daughter Brenda Biya, whom the writer states is a minor. This fact, the writer suggests, gives a paedophilic shade to the above line. This criticism, amongst others, feeds the rejoinder as the riposte states that if the party concerned had taken any offence “Stanley would have been invited to The Presidency, the Conference Centre, not to perform for a “small fee”, but to answer to his acts”.
Such an affirmation is quite worrying because it openly approves the continued sexualisation of women and girls, minor or major, in urban music. Even in America where this has been a norm, it is still vigorously challenged. America may be tolerant with sexualising their daughters but let’s not remix that here.
The author of the rejoinder continues his article by confirming Stanley Enow’s claim that he is the King. He does this by ejaculating a series of rhetorical questions amongst which is whether “it is Stanley Enow who asked Americans to give him the award most highly sought during the career of an African musician. Did Stanley Enow ask to be given another “Golden” award in the USA and electrify crowds there during his concerts? Is he the one who compelled 50 Cent to share his video? Is he the one who asked to be invited severally to the Presidency of the Republic? Is he the one who asked to feature alongside Nyanda of “Brike” and Lace fame?” These torrential interrogative cascade can make for compelling arguments but close inspection reveals how shallow they are.
Which is this “award most highly sought during the career of an African” that he brandishes and claims Americans (which Americans you may ask) free-willingly gave Stanley Enow? Is he talking about the AFRIMMA Award or the 2014 MAMA held in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa? “Pour sa gouverne” as the French say, the former is an award show organised by African Muzik Magazine, not Americans, while the latter is the award show organised by MTV to celebrate African music. Unless Stanley Enow grabbed another award secretly then he should crosscheck his facts.
Furthermore what does he have to proof that 50 Cent wasn’t asked (or even motivated) to share Stanley Enow’s video? This is entertainment and it is common practice for celebs to be asked to give a push to up-and-coming talent through various means one of which is sharing their video or at times just taking a pic with them.
Is being invited to Presidency of the Republic a covert crowning ceremony? Can the author prove Stanley Enow never worked his way into that featuring with Nyanda? The foregoing can also be labelled shallow arguments but they help deflate the supposed impermeable credibility their author struggles to ascribe to them in his preposterous response to the Je Wanda article or should I say its author.
The rejoinder just like the article it vilifies could have had its merits irrespective of its above mentioned flaws. No human endeavour is perfect after all. But in my opinion it denies itself any informational value it might have had by repeatedly attacking the author of the original piece strongly and attacking her facts too weakly. It accuses the author of the original article of hatred, stating “As if she could do something besides having and showing her hatred for a musician she has always been against”.
This is in reference to the fact that she starts her article by saying she is not a “hater” of Enow. The rejoinder adds that “…we know that since Stanley Enow’s messianic arrival, she was amongst the first persons to compare him with whosoever, in an attempt to reduce his chances at success” and enjoins her to “Put aside her hatred”. These are his personal ungrounded opinions not facts.
In response to accusations of unnecessary grandstanding and posturing levelled at Stanley Enow who is accused of having singlehandedly proclaimed himself king with a “paper crown”, he offers nothing but a rampage of rhetorical questions which do not address the underlying issue: has Stanley Enow reached the top as his posturing suggests?
Rather than squarely address the rather serious accusations of improper statements with paedophilic shades made against his protégé, the author of the rejoinder commits the blunder of encouraging the sexualisation of women and girls in song lyrics by saying the girl concerned is a major. Whether or not the girl is a minor or major is not the underlying issue. The underlying issue is whether it is okay to sexualise girls. Their minority or majority is nothing but a marginal issue that can mitigate or aggravate the gravity of the wrong. In trying to correct a wrong he feels his idol has suffered he commits a greater wrong.
He accuses the author of the original article of hatred but examination shows there is no hatred in the original article. At least not to my eyes or mind. No hatred except an attempt at a critique. Whether or not this attempt is successful is another story but it carries no malice and should rather be welcome in an industry filled with pandering and bias peer acclamation of blatant mediocrity.
Nevertheless in all honesty I must concur with the author of the rejoinder that it is unfair to say Stanley Enow’s sayings are inaudible not because I am a pidgin pro but because he is a rapper. Do we always hear clearly, at first hearing, rappers when they are doing their thing. For crying out they are rappers: they rap as in sing very fast, which makes it hard for them to be audible. But this is as far as I can share his views. Objectively speaking, his piece sounds like the ranting of a narrow-minded Stanley Enow fanatic. Mark my words, I haven’t said fan. I have said FANATIC. He seems to have hatched his piece in the throes of a revengeful rage, else he would have spared himself some of the shallow arguments and aimed at the facts, not the author. In other words, he would not have remained irrational and not be swept away by his personal views about the author.
In my humble opinion, this is his major mistake given that what the author of the original article wrote is a fair comment with varying degrees of objectivity and subjectivity but not “inept stupidities” as he tags it.
Nchanji M. Njamnsi is a translator, freelance journalist and blogger.