March 24, 2012. Yes I was there. With a couple of friends, I watched the Akon live concert in Douala. It was one of those rare events that happen here and it was good to be part of it.
Who is Akon? What I know of Akon is that he’s a Senegalese singer and he is a big hit in India and in the Philippines; and his songs, though not for under-age consumption, are upbeat and easy to like.
A few years back, I went home to the Philippines and my friends were listening to him and he was apparently big there at that time. So I got introduced to his songs and the one that stuck in my memory was Smack That. His songs include Sorry (Blame it on Me), a remake of Mr. Lonely, Ghetto, Mama Africa, to name a few.
The night of the concert was humid and really warm (consider this an understatement!). We’ve been warned that it was a standing room only concert that would start at 7 in the evening and end around 10 p.m. We took our place at a good viewing distance from the stage, giddy with anticipation to hear Akon sing.
Some Cameroonian singers were lined up to do some front acts. There were about five of them, half were worth following and the other half bored me to tears. The evening was getting late, warmer and sweatier, but the star of the night still was not on stage. The crowd was also getting antsy and there was clamor for Akon to show up!
At some point, some security problems came up which created a stir and caused some unnecessary panic and disturbance among the crowd. Because of this, our small group was forced to leave our good spot and we moved to a safer area near the gates. This would allow us to leave the premises immediately if chaos or stampede would break out. Luckily, the hoopla died down and the show went on.
Finally, at 10 p.m. Akon appeared and started his gig. Unfortunately, at the beginning of his performance, Akon’s crew had some technical problems. The crowd was not so happy with this but they were still supportive of the singer. It must have been very disappointing for Akon who would have wanted to please his audience and deliver an unforgettable show for them.
After overcoming the technical issues, Akon was fantastic and full of energy on stage. Although we cut short our stay at the concert, I was happy to have seen him and hear him sing his popular songs – live on stage! And yes, it can only be a standing room-only concert because one can’t help but dance and sing along with him.
Thanks Guinness for bringing something different to Douala! It was fun! When’s the next concert?
by: Joy G.