After a progressive year in the Liberia music and entertainment industries, stars gathered on Saturday November 16 at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Liberia, to celebrate. Through collaborative efforts from Lonestar Cell MTN and the Liberia Music Awards (LMA), the event brought together big names in the entertainment industry for a night of glamour, music, and the celebration of arts. Continue below for an overview of how it all went down.
It all started on the red carpet, hosted by Blogger, Alpha Bah. As stars and attendees arrived, many were left impressed by the caliber of event they were in for. Although it was the second LMA hosted in Liberia, the planners of the event, Echohouse Liberia, did a superb job in setting the bar for other like events to follow in Liberia.
Moving forward, the show followed suit in energy. Hosts Rickslyn Myers and Oneal Roberts kept the crowd engaged, while the presenters and performers kept them entertained. As the show progressed, eager fans watched attentively as names of nominees in various categories were called, hoping to hear that of their favorite artists. While the fans were mostly civil about the wins and losses, there were moments like when Christoph the Change was announced as TrapCo Artist of the Year, where fans of TrapCo superstar, Bucky Raw booed in disbelief. Although, the boos weren’t to say that Christoph the Change is not deserving of the award, however, this moment ignited some controversy on the voting aspect of the awards.
In regard to this controversy, fans and some stars took to social media with claims of foul play in the voting and winner selection processes As more stars and online personalities presented their views, this conversation further developed into a debate as to whether or not an awards committee of the MLMA caliber should leave the winner selection solely in the hands of the fans – many of whom do not participate in the voting processes as they should. To this debate, People’s Choice Award Winner, Kobazzie, chimed in on the angle that artists should use the opportunity to rather advocate for prizes to accompany each award, rather than divide over who takes home the statue.
Likewise, in a recently emerged dialogue, MLMA nominee, MC Caro spoke up against being bullied for her fashion choices by online personalities. Caro’s honesty in sharing her possible suicidal thoughts as a result of the bullying inspired other names in the industry like Influencers Michelle Doe, Natasha Smith, and Artist, Bucky Raw, to open up about similar feelings as a result of cyberbullying and gossip.
While some may see their shared vulnerabilities as opportunistic, it cannot be ignored that mental health issues are often brushed off in the Liberian society. As such, custodians of the Liberian music and overall entertainment industry must do all in their power to ensure the mental and physical protection of its members.
Nonetheless, the 2019 MTN Liberia Music Awards (MLMA) proved to be one of the most glamourous and memorable nights in recent industry history. It was a chance for musicians, DJs, videographers, boggers, influencers, fashion designers, photographers, social media personalities, etc. to all gather and show the world the investment potential that exists in the Liberian entertainment industry. With this bar set as the second annual LMA event held in Liberia, excitement is clear for the future of the industry.
Full list of Winners and photos can be found at liberiamusicawards.org.