Here is the reality: behind the scenes, women work. They are in the thoughts behind directed videos, produce music and manage the careers of up and coming artists.
Those that manage artists, when equipped with the right skills, professional passion, patient and most importantly, belief in their artists, are the most important persons when it comes to getting the artist a major deal.
Just ask Alice Yawo and Bernice Mulubah.
Sadly, women in the music industry are mostly invisible, underrepresented and ignored. But that is except for these two: Alice Yawo and Bernice Mulubah, two of Liberia’s top entertainment promoters.
These two women, one a blogger, entertainer and artist manager, and the other a popular Afro/Gbema/R&B artist and DenG’s manager, are running the business side of some of the biggest names in Liberia’s music scene. And that means having to put aside fickleness, unprofessionalism, bias, being disrespectful and not being transparent, for their careers to flourish.
“Jon Bricks and I had a personal relationship before I started managing him; and I managed him for a few months. As of late, we are no longer together intimately or professionally due to some legal issues that we are facing with one another,” stated Bernice Mulubah, Jon Bricks’s former manager.
The mixing of business with pleasure has, however, led to unmanaged Liberian artists viewing the females who manage the careers of their counterparts as someone they could possibly have intimate relationships with. They also view them as devotees, best friends and breadwinners.
“Everyone has been wondering this for some time now so I am glad that I can publicly announce it. DenG and I are not in a relationship. As much as I hate discussing whether or not I am in a relationship, I will proudly say DenG and I aren’t in a dating relationship,” said Alice.
“Our current relationship is strictly business and far from personal; and I try to stay away from his personal life as much as I can. DenG is a great man, very humble, quiet and any woman who gets to be with him will most certainly be a blessed woman. However, that woman is not me, my blessings lie somewhere else.”
For now, mixing professionalism with a relationship is “played out.” The exploits of artists like DenG, whose career is being steered by a female manager, has led to a lot of artists admitting that the role of a female manager is not to marry you, but to make you rich.
According to Alice, who has heard the numerous allegations that DenG’s career is “failing” because he lacks a sound management team and music videos, DenG’s career is not dipping, nor is it soaring either.
“DenG’s career isn’t taking a dip as far as I am concerned. And if it was, it most certainly wouldn’t be due to the media or a social propaganda. I am very cautious of his career and if I felt as though it was taking a plunge I would rapidly act upon it and get it where I need it to be. I wouldn’t consider any Liberian musician’s career as ‘soaring,’ so most certainly DenG’s career isn’t soaring,” she added via Facebook.
“I have slowed down work for DenG, which may seem to most as his career taking a plunge; however, that is not the case. DenG’s brand is still a big brand internationally and a few days ago he won “Best Artist” and “Song of the Year” at the Liberia Entertainment Award; so, DenG’s career isn’t taking a plunge, not on my watch, lol.”
In the meantime, more male artists are now optimistic about finding a female manager, because, according to them, females are more devoted to their work.
“There is a lot that goes into being a successful manager. I will say sacrifice is very important in playing a good managerial role. Working with DenG, I had to sacrifice many of my personal life to reach our team’s yearly goals. Being a young woman I have many relationship offers but I have to turn them down because I do not have time to invest in a boyfriend because my entire day is dedicated to DenG and how we could better his brand. (Well that’s past tense now) But yeah, sacrifice is very prominent,” she said.
“On the behalf of my team, I will like to apologize for the poor action displayed by us publicly on social media in the past. My team is a family, and just like every other family there will be disagreements, arguments and even fights. We are far from perfect, trust me, but we will disagree to agree and then get back to business. My team hasn’t broken up, we have gone through worst situations than the public may be able to comprehend, but God built our bond and that bond won’t be broken unless God himself let it loose. So may the Holy Ghost fire burn all those who are trying break us up. Amen.”