The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA), Hon. Sidie Yayah Tunis has informed the Media and Entertainment Stakeholders about the staging of the first, National Entertainment Awards, (NEA), 2017.
The award ceremony has been slated for the 29 April 2017, at the Bintumani International Conference Centre, Aberdeen in Freetown.
During a joint press briefing, the Minister explained that the event aimed at promoting the image and rich culture of Sierra Leone through entertainment.
“The National Entertainment Awards (NEA) 2017 is geared towards recognizing the contributions of our indigenous and international Music, Sports, Comedy, Film, Fashion, Tourism and Cultural Heritage” the Minister said. He reaffirmed that the said award would also act as a stimuli to shy away our entertainment stars and their fan base groups from violence and riotous conduct. He maintained that it is very difficult for our local stars and talents to express their God-given talents in an open field today in the country.
“The talents are meant to bring us together and not to divide us” the Minister said.
The Minister maintained that LAKE Production and MTCA have decided to seek stakeholder’s collaboration, support and sponsorship in a bid to stage the 1st National Entertainments Awards in Sierra Leone.
“When I looked at the categories, this is like combining the Grammy Awards and the Oscar Awards together with sport awards, which require a lot of effort and time’’ the Minister said. He emphasized that the standard and quality of the NEA award must be as good as those in other countries.
Mr. Alhaji K. Tarawally, CEO of LAKE Production Entertainment Company, disclosed that the said event would be a glamorous celebration of artistry, ingenuity, creativity, honoring excellence in Sierra Leone film making, music, sports, and comedy and cultural heritage. He said that nomination will start on 15th February, and close on March 1st, 2017.
“There are forty (40) categories including five (5) Lifetime Achievement Awards that will be available for nomination, and all nomination will close on March 1st 2017’’ the CEO confirmed.
Mr. Mohamed Jalloh, Director of Tourism, said that the 1st National Entertainment Awards will serve as a platform to promote local talents in the different categories of entertainment within the entertainment industry in Sierra Leone. The Director urged members of the private sector to usher in their collaboration and support so as to ensure a successful outcome of the said event.
“We really want the private sector to promote this event because they stand to enjoy the advantage, when our music is played internationally, we will attract international recognition,’’ the Director said. He further thanked all personalities present for their support in promoting the entertainment industry through Tourism, Culture and heritage.
Statements were also made by several stakeholders from the entertainment industry including the President of All Stars-Collabo, the President of Film Council-Michael Kargbo, Desmond Finney, Mohamed Murtala, Mohamed Murtala and several others.
Notably, this year NEA will attract participation from the diaspora and all facets of the Sierra Leone community.