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Pointe Noire 'Nsangu Ndji' festival: Behind the scenes

Republic of the Congo

You’d be surprised at the amount of preparation showbiz entertainers go through before succesfully organising an event. An example of such an event was the recent Nsangu Nji Festival held in Pointe Noire, the Republic of Congo.

8 hours before the show begins, Jacques Nkilé Nguélé, a stage manager and his assistants are already preparing the podium in order to offer the best quality of sound and light to the spectators.

Stage lights set up, cables plugged in and microphone checks to ensure the success of the show.

“The Signal transport is important in relation to sound. Because many people here don’t have that foundation. They cannot weld cables. Yet this important for the sound system. One cable can ruin an entire show. And about lights, it’s good to have good lights. Someone has to choose the right projectors in relation to the event. Because every projector corresponds to a given situation,” said Jacques Nkilé Nguélé, a stage manager from Cameroon.

There are a few professionals working behind the scenes of several arts and cultural events in in sub-Saharan Africa.

He also said:
“Many are there and say they are technicians or sound engineers. These are people who were trained on the job. They don’t have the foundational skills and that’s what’s missing.”

With all the preparations completed, it’s time for the show.

Good lighting, an impeccable sound quality to effectively impress the audience.
As for the technicians, they are always busy and can’t enjoy the show.

The role of the sound and light technicians is to perfect the artistic works and ensure a flawless execution of a show. But they are usually the stars audiences never gets to see.

“It’s quite unfortunate. Often when we finish the concert, we introduce and applaud the artist, we forget that it is the people who are behind the artist who enable the artist to have a great name. So you have to recognize that sound is the heart of music. If there is no sound, there is no concert. If there’s no light, you won’t see the artist on stage,” said Cravate Saint Valson, an artist from Chad who attended the festival.

It can be well said that stage managers and their assistants are the most important invisible persons in showbiz.

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