Three Cameroonian budding hip hop stars, Mr Leo, Blaise B & Salatiel have on Friday May 19, 2017, performed a concert at the Buea Central Prison (BCP) for the first time since the 1930s. The epic event was initiated by Mr Leo in his commitment to return to his roots, as well as carry out a gesture of solidarity with his “caged” compatriots.
The 4-hour charity event featured playbacks from inmates both male and female, comedy, donation of foodstuffs by Mr Leo, a football encounter where Team Mr Leo lost 6-2 to Inmates’ Selection, and souvenir shots. Accompanied by the famous music director Doctor Nkeng Stephens, the Alpha Beta Records icons pledged to do more and urged the freedomless people to love and share.
In the presence of top prison officials, the Paymaster General for the South West Region, Barristers John Kameni (JK), Taminang Gilbert, & Edward Lyonga Ewule, the Cliq Empire Team and others, the trio took turns to thrill the BCP community in what has become the concert of a life time. First came Akwanduo Blaise Atarrimah a.k.a Blaise B. with his hit song “Eposi”. Then came Livenja Bessong alias Salatiel whose ” Fap Kolo” reaped emotions apart. Mr Leo then crowned the staging with the humble tracks (“On va gerer”, “Jamais Jamais” etc), that have shot him to meaningful fame.
As the history goes, Mr Leo was born to parents from Bui Division (Nso), Mr and Mrs Fonyuy Tata Thomas. As the son of a warder, he grew up at the present day Waders’ Barrack. His return to the childhood hub can only but describes life in very simple terms;
“It’s something I have always planned to do. I am happy I have done it and it gives me satisfaction… The Mr Leo you know today was born in the Warders’ Barrack, I lived here for close to 15 years, 16 years practically. It feels good to be home”, the award winner rattled.
The Senior Administrator of Prisons, or the Superintendent in Charge at BCP, Joel Pombouo Fopa, expressed deep satisfaction, thanked Mr Leo, and wished his team well while hoping to see them back soonest.
One of the inmates said they had never seen such, hoped Mr Leo’s visit would strengthen them and prayed for blessings on the path of artist.
Created in the 1930s according to Major Chief Warder Diamelle Denson, the Buea Central Prison (BCP) which now harbours over 1400 inmates has never hosted three musical icons. With maximum organization by the Buea-based Cliq Empire of Prince Enobi Mikel, history was made on Friday May 19 as Leonard Fonyuy a.k.a Mr Leo, took along two of his brotherly hip hop colleagues among others, in the realization of a long-conceived act of charity.