Comedian cum singer, CY Old Pancho has attempted to justify his use of unconventional methods in advocacy for Cameroon-made entertainment content.
The Buea-based comedian was guest on PoiseSocial’s live Facebook show on November 10, 2022 where he said all attempts at using diplomacy, had gone to waste and so it was necessary to get harsh to foster the 80-20 initiative.
The 80-20 campaign stems from the desire to promote more of Cameroonian entertainment content (especially music) and less of foreign works, to build the home industry. CY said he had spent a greater time of his life in the entertainment business schooling Cameroonians on the need to prioritise local content, and now is the time to use the harsh method.
“The way I am going about it is the best and most perfect way” he stated.
CY it should be recalled, has faced criticism in the past for his multiple utterances including calls for Cameroonians to boycott foreign artistes visiting for shows.
Declaring himself one of English Cameroon’s best comedians, he said despite this, he also gets accolades but doesn’t boast like others. Instead, he said, he spends time creating impact. “My aim is to do work! That is why I keep working,” he stressed.
The aspect of multiple Cameroonian artistes now hosting their own shows abroad, the comedian opined, is a direct result of the 80-20 campaign and his rudimentary methods, he added.
CY Old Pancho has never shied to mention his humanitarian work, and his latest interview was no different: “In my entire life I have always done my activities in prison for inmates because I have a legal and registered NGO.”
He added: “In 2018 when they wanted to burn the Buea prison, I brought peace in the Buea central prison. I met the registrar and suggested that we organise an event. When inmates have something to take away their attention, it calms them down.”
His humanitarian and social works, CY added, span beyond the prison walls into schools. There, he and his team educate students on the dangers of peer pressure, drugs and other malpractices. “When they criticised me a lot, I did my first event. It was a record breaking school event. I hosted about 5000 to 6000 students. Singlehandedly I did it,” CY told viewers.
Difference in methods or purpose?
While many entertainers and industry stakeholders disagree with CY’s methods, some have actually accepted that the end goal, is to valorise homemade works and boost competition on the international scene.
To artiste and music businessman, Nde Ndifonka aka Wax Dey, “800-20 is not about banning or hating Nigerian music. No. it is about playing ore Cameroonian music on our own channels so that when we invite them over they should respect us more.”
Others still, hold that the bigger challenge with Cameroon’s music sector lies in the system in place, and not the content produced. Caleb karawa of karawa media: “… it is the wrong war. How is 80-20 going to benefit an artiste in a country where royalties are not paid? How is 80-20 going to benefit an artiste in a country where the digital purchase power is so low?”