Omo Sexy remakes Nollywood, music industry into money machine | P.M. News

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is trying to reorganise and ’s to become a making machine for the stakeholders as she staged an fair TEFFEST. she succeed?

International Times zeroes in on her effort in this feature by :

Fake eyelashes fluttered, bespoke suits were on and slick music videos played at the inaugural edition of The Entertainment Fair and Festival in Nigeria’s economic hub in late November.

But behind the glitter, the reality of the and music sectors in ’s most populous nation can often be far less glamorous: wages are low, are no protections and is rarely enforced.

That comes despite the country boasting the second most productive in the and some of Africa’s biggest pop stars.

Hits by like Burna Boy, and play non-stop on stations across the continent and Nollywood churns out some 2, each year.

Despite the successes, revenues from Nigeria’s entertainment and in 2018 lagged well behind that of the continent’s leading economic powerhouse at $4.5 billion compared to $9.1 billion, said.

That difference is not down to output or demand as Nigeria produces more, exports more and has a domestic market of some 200 million , four times bigger than South Africa.

Instead industry insiders insist it is a problem of organisation.

South Africa has better systems for ensuring royalty for , stronger legal protections and more facilities such as film studios, concert venues and cinemas.

In a bid to remedy the issues facing the industry, veteran Nollywood Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde came up with the entertainment business fair, known as TEFFEST.

It is aimed at bringing together , singers, producers, insurers, and managers to better organise the sector.

“The entertainment industry has grown without structures, without a roof,” Jalade-Ekeinde, nicknamed “ Sexy”, told AFP.

“For decades, we were not taken seriously and the big corporation didn’t consider .”

The situation has changed as the industry has grown and companies like are looking to up their involvement in Nollywood and international labels attempting to Afropop stars.

“We produced, we grew, we became something suddenly and now the corporate world is trying to understand how we and how they can deal with us,” Jalade-Ekeinde, AKA “the of Nollywood”, said.

But the problems riddling the industry means it is often difficult to invest.

“There is nothing to celebrate ,” said Efe Omoregbe, of and former of the Copyright of Nigeria (COSON), which was dissolved by the due to an internal conflict.

“We should be fixing and addressing structural issues (…) We live in a of when it comes to .”

PwC estimates that 80 percent of the pirate CDs globally can be found in Nigeria and singer Brymo says that in almost 20 years performing he has never received any money from his playing on local stations.

“Internationally, we make money through distribution that have taken over rapidly, but locally it’s mostly with gigs or ,” he said.

Simeon Okoduwa said he tries to insist on artists signing a contract with producers before working with them.

“Too many film shoots or recordings are still done based on promises and handshakes,” he said.

This is an issue that leading Dede knows only too well.

always demands a written contract before starting her film — and says the production companies now do offer written contracts as standard.

“Before producers I was being pretentious,” she said.

Despite the improvements she still decries the lack of protections for performers or a for actors and others involved in the industry such as make-up artists, cameramen and technicians.

Nollywood is a vast employer in Nigeria — with some estimates saying it offers to one million people — but much of that is very precarious.

“We make more money on building a than acting,” said Dede.

“But I shouldn’t be focusing on how many likes I get on , I should be working on my .”

Despite the drawbacks, the entertainment industry is still a major draw in a country where almost half the population live in extreme .

But Dede said she still has no regret of leaving her job in in to launch herself in Nollywood.

“Nothing makes me happier than acting,” she said.

“Even though the pay is not good, there is no way I would give up on that.”

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