African Traditional Music : Yet Another Feather In Lemmy Moïse’s Cap

The latest honour is for his enduring contributions to cultural promotion through music.

There has been a general outcry for many years now amongst music lovers and analysts in country as to the quality of songs. Unlike in the heydays of Cameroonian music in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and even in the early part of the 1990s, the country has since been taken over by the “Music for now” craze. This is easily seen in the ephemeral or fast-fading nature of most songs.

Gone are those days of timelessness – in terms of appeal – of Cameroonian music. As a result, most releases are now hardly remembered by music lovers and radio and television entertainment hosts one year after! This is largely explained by the fact that music has become an all-comers’ profession. With “intruders” often in a mad rush “to make their point.” Understandably, the major casualty is professionalism.

But not so with Lemmy Moïse. The Njang and African traditional music artiste who has been plying his trade since 1996 on February 24, 2019 in Bamenda received this year’s GOCO award for “promoting culture through music.” The honour was Lemmy Moïse’s third since beginning his career. The international charity acknowledged Lemmy’s music, support to budding artistes and extra talents in sound engineering, audio recording, mixing and mastering in his home studio.

“A jury of six went through my songs such as “Nsuung Jazze,” “Talk for Mbuh house,” “Stop wars, let’s dance” – all released in 2001, but still move many people as if they had just come out,” explained Moïse. “The songs are pregnant with both messages and melody; reason why they have stood the test of time,” he adds. “I felt elated and encouraged because the present impasse in the music industry in Cameroon makes it difficult for any artiste to live off their art. Moreover, the public tends to go for songs with vulgar messages and little or no meaning, thereby making me feel that I’m not doing enough,” says Lemmy in response to his latest honour.

“The award came as a morale boost. Someone somewhere - besides the Almighty Lord - is listening and taking note of my contributions to the growth of music,” he adds. “The recognition has come to galvanise my efforts to remain focused and do even better because competition is tough. I had relaxed a bit and was concentrating more on teaching in primary school. This is a wakeup call that more is still needed of me. I hope I won’t disappoint. I’m fully back! I’ve got quite a lot on my music stable,” Lemmy Moïse underscores.

Meanwhile, he has an album in the making, which should be ready by May 2019. “I am putting in everything to give the new album of 8 songs the extra touch it deserves,” he promises. But before then, he might release a single to herald the forthcoming album. Lemmy Moïse boasts two albums and two maxi singles. The first, entitled “Nsuung,” came out in 1998, followed in 2001 by “Stop wars, let’s dance.”

His first single was released in an album of six songs by six North West artistes known as Nota Stars. The group was made up of Rick Nguti, Ngalim Andreas, Bobgala Didier, Ateh Bazore, Lemmy Moïse and the late John Minang. His most recent maxi single is entitled “Real Peace,” a clamour for return to normalcy in the two restive English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

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