By every account it was one of Liberia’s proudest events held in the United States, and those in attendance admitted that a new standard of fashion, music, performance, and class has been set.
They were referring to ‘The First Annual Liberian Entertainment Awards (LEA)’ held on January 31, 2009, at the Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina, where some five hundred well-dressed people showed up to celebrate a ground-breaking Liberian event.
There were great performances by Liberian artists Lucky Shango, FA, Black Diamond, C-Needles, and Atlanta Dance Crew.
“The award celebrates Liberians who are excelling in music, fashion, arts, movies, sports, and the community”, said Mr. Tarkus Zonen, CEO and Founder of the LEA Awards.
And the winners were:
BEST NIGHTCLUB: Kendejah Nightclub, BEST DRESSED FEMALE: Sanna Ville, BEST DRESSED MALE: Nyoni Sio. SONG OF THE YEAR: Bayjay (Sundaygar Dearboy), BEST MUSIC VIDEO: Liberian Girl (2C), BEST FILM MAKER: Gerald Barclay and BEST EVENT PROMOTER: Alexander Sonpon (Tashiki).
Mr. Zonen, along with a crew of experienced event planners, also announced 18 others who were promoted in the various disciplines: BEST MODEL: Jacqueline Weah, BEST ONLINE NEWSOUTLET: TLC Africa, BEST DJ: Levi Jones, BEST ATHLETE: Francis "Grandpa" Doe, BEST MOVIE: Imported Bride, BEST RESTAURANT: Angie's Restaurant, BEST SOCCER TOURNAMENT: July 26 Games and BEST SCHOOL REUNION: St. Patrick's.
Others were SEXIEST MALE: Pallar Prowd, SEXIEST FEMALE: Williette Vernice Morris, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: Piso Saydee-Tarr, SOCIALITE MALE: Moivee Sirleaf, SOCIALITE FEMALE: Ciata Diggs,
BEST ARTIST: FA Deline, MOST TRENDY MALE: Lasannah Tweh, MOST TRENDY FEMALE: Lorpu Tarnah, BEST ACTORESS): Vashti Jones and BEST DESIGNER: House of Leevean (Leevean Fleming).
Participants as well as performers expressed satisfaction and hoped for more in the future. And their tributes were certainly glowing:
Alexander Sonpon expressed satisfaction for the event, saying “It was a pleasure for me to win the Award for the Best Event Promoter for the 1st Annual Liberian Entertainment Awards.”
“The concept of the event,” he said, “is a great one, as it celebrates and recognizes Liberians like me, who are trying to put Liberia on the map”.
“This was in no small measure one of the best Liberian events I have attended,” said C. Alex Jones (CEO, Zorzor.net),
“I know the work and resources that came to bear were enormous; but, so is the reward. This, we can all say, made us-Liberians- proud once again.”
He commended the organizers for putting such a memorable event together and executing it so well. “From all of us here at zorzor.net we say "a job well done."
Ed Yarngo (V.P of Marketing & Promotions—Café L.IB, Inc.) said,
“On behalf of Cafe L.I.B, Inc. & http://www.cafelib.com
I want to commend you and your team of dedicated hard working individuals for your extraordinary efforts in such a short time in putting together the 1st Liberian Entertainment Awards.”
“We are extremely proud of you,” he continued, “You’ve taken a new step in helping us in our continued efforts to leave our footprints every where in the U.S.A. Tarkus my brother, congratulations for an extraordinarily ground breaking event!”
Yeatoe McIntosh (Owner of the Liberia Fashion Week and Miss Intercultural) noted: “Great idea works--- on the branding of the image of the event; more with the categories and the nominees... those who have really worked in that capacity during the year. Great job to pull this off...the first year is always crazy... but it will all come together.”
Pics of Liberians at the First Liberian Entertainment Award (Click Pics to See Slideshow
Doris Jallah of Minnesota said, “I did not regret my trip from Minnesota to North Carolina to attend the First Liberian Entertainment Award. I had a memorable experience and hope that this event would continue for many years.”
“It made me proud as a Liberian,” she added, “I know Liberians have the potential to implement such a great event but I never knew it would have been so fabulous. See how far we Liberians have come!”
Meanwhile, Mr. Zonen has announced that the official video for the award show, which came out on March 5th, can be ordered at www.liberianentertainmentawards.com or at your local African stores.
Some of proceeds from the event, he disclosed, are going to further the music and film industry in Liberia and the US. The 2nd annual award show will be on January 30th in Charlotte, North Carolina 2010.
Next year's event, he said, “will focus on celebrating the veteran Liberians musicians like Nimba Burr, Zack and Gebah, Big Steve, Chichi Polay, as well as the cast of Malawa Balawa, Bendu Sudan, among others.”
For further information about next year's event, please contact Mr. Tarkus Zonen at 612-414-4968 or at firstname.lastname@example.org