By Manteneh Anna Daboh
As a way of giving more power to the entertainment industry in the country, Lake Production Entertainment Company in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs will organize the first ever national entertainment awards this year.
This was made known to the press Tuesday 14th February 2017 at the Ministry’s conference room.
Lake Production Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alhaji K. Tarawally in his welcome address said the national entertainment award was established and registered as a trade mark and business registration name with the office of the Administrator and Registrar General office on the 15th November, 2011.
According to him, the award is designed to serve the emerging entertainment industry in the country.
The annual event, he added will focus on recognizing the contribution of Sierra Leonean entertainers towards the entertainment industry.
He pointed out that the event is aimed at promoting the image and rich culture of Sierra Leone, by using the means of entertainment.
“This will be the first National Entertainment Award that will be organized in the country with the first ever edition, with a red carpet entertainment and it has been scheduled for the 29th April 2017, at the Bintumani International Conference Center in Freetown and it will be hosted by John Konteh and Ellen Keister.”
Lake Production, CEO Alhaji Tarawally mentioned that entertainment is one of the biggest global businesses and a case study is the Nigerian entertainment industry which shows that the industry generates over two BillionsNaira every year for its central government.
“If we, in Sierra Leone have to succeed towards the development of the entertainment industry, it has to be the primary responsibility of the government through the ministry of Tourism and Cultural heritage. The awards are categorized into four segments: Music, Film, Sports and Others.”
He concluded that the press briefing was to reveal the nominations of the different category that will be awarded and the nomination for stakeholders will start today Wednesday 15th February, and closes on Wednesday, 1st March, 2017.
The National Secretary General of the Sierra Leone’s Sports Writers Association, Sahr Morris Jnr. said the sports Writers’ Association of Sierra Leone is pleased to be part of the upcoming award and it’s not by mistake that the organizers have considered the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone.
He said sports and entertainment are both similar because sports cannot go without entertainment likewise entertainment cannot go without sports.
“We welcome this idea and we are going to work with the organizers and all other stakeholders to ensure that this particular event come out successful”.
He made a little emphasis on sports and tourism because they are using sports as a tool for educational development and other related issues.
“Sports also go with tourism, because there was a time in Sierra Leone when the Africa International Tournament competition was hosted in 2009, we saw different teams all over the world and that boasted the Tourism Industry in the country.
“Later this month, the country will host the Sierra Leone under 20 Zone two beach volley ball that will also bring other nations in the country and it will boast the economy of the tourism,” he said.
Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, SidieYayah Tunis said that the national entertainment award will increase the awareness of a new style of African entertainment that will promote Sierra Leone acts to the world and it will be a glamorous celebration of artistry, honoring in Sierra Leone Film Making, Music, Sports, Comedy and Cultural Heritage.
He continued to say the award is to honor people that have made positive achievement in the entertainment industry in Sierra Leone.
“An entertainment is very important in any country in the world, and most entertainers are earning high income. As a Minister I have the entertainment industry at heart and this 2017 National Entertainment Award will motivate our very own entertainers and recognizing their effort in the industry.”
To develop and also set a platform for the upcoming entertainers, the minister vowed to work and support any group in the industry as long as he is in office.
“This award will make the fans of our entertainers to shy away from violent and riotous conduct, because we have stars and talents.”
He said that Lake Production and his Ministry are doing this so that the young talented stars will not waste but will encourage and boost Sierra Leone’s cultural heritage.
He also called on people to come on board by giving their financial support as the Ministry and Lake Production cannot do it alone as this is a big project and the very first ever that will be held in the country.
“It will be standard, credible and transparent events.”
The Tourism Minister lamented that the event will be a way of appreciating the tireless efforts of the entertainers. He also hoped that it will be an annual event so that it will be used to communicate positive messages on attitudinal change and the role of youths in peace keeping.
He concluded that they are open up to contributions as the ministry is unfunded, and they are welcoming ideas, support towards a successful National Entertainment Award 2017.
Other stakeholders of different sectors in the entertainment industry also gave out statements showing their concerns and looking forward to a successful awards night.