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

person

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is trying to reorganise Nollywood and Nigeria’s music industry to become a money making machine for all the stakeholders as she staged an entertainment fair TEFFEST. Will she succeed?

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

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

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

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

Hits by singers like Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido play non-stop on stations across the continent and Nollywood churns out some 2,500 movies each year.

Despite the successes, revenues from Nigeria’s entertainment and media sector in 2018 lagged well behind that of the continent’s other leading economic powerhouse South Africa at $4.5 billion compared to $9.1 billion, PwC 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 people, four times bigger than South Africa.

Instead industry insiders insist it is a problem of organisation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“There is nothing to celebrate here,” said Efe Omoregbe, manager of singer 2Face and former board member of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), which was dissolved by the government due to an internal conflict.

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

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 songs playing on local radio stations.

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

Lawyer 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 actor Michelle Dede knows only too well.

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

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

Despite the improvements she still decries the lack of protections for performers or a minimum wage 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 jobs to one million people — but much of that is very precarious.

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

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

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

But Dede said she still has no regret of leaving her job in marketing in London 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.”

Related posts

DJ Cuppy has stolen my heart — Afrobeat Artiste, Akeju – Vanguard News

person

Budding star of Afro-music, a genre previously unknown to music fans in the United States, is a fast-rising Nigerian songwriter, a record producer known as Akeju. Akeju’s name is fast evolving into a household item in New York City, the city that never sleeps. He is so popular and influential, especially on the entertainment scene, that the entire city had to look forward to the unveiling of his latest single, Akeju, that was released earlier this year. The song has been on top charts since its release. A native of Kwara State, Akeju has lived in New York City for over a decade. He is an artist in every sense of the word. Not just a musical artist but an artist because he is all about expression, from his sense of style to his genre of music even down to working succinctly as an actor and movie producer. The artiste, in this interview, revealed his plans to collaborate with more A-list artists in Africa and more surprisingly his favourite woman crush.

Tell us about your background

My name is A. M Akeju, I was born in Ghana to Nigerian parents. My mom is from Ilorin and my dad is from Abeokuta.

Have you always wanted to be a musician?

Yes. I started out writing songs and listening to a variety of aristes as a child; Nate King Cole, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti to mention but a few.

How did you discover your talent in music?

Some people actually go through life trying to figure out which path they want to take but for me, Music has always been a part of me. I remember growing up, I was influenced by popular singers like Fela Kuti, Nate King Cole, Bob Marley among others. I  have always believed that someday I would do music too.

READ ALSO: Let’s see music as a spiritual exercise – Erelu Dosumu Abiola

What inspires your songs?

Many things inspire my songs. Experiences of friends, family, and myself; what is going on at the time in many communities. Many times I want my songs to make people feel good; sometimes people go through so much in their life.

Who are those top artistes you would want to have a collaboration with and why?

There are several, Seal, Youssou Ndour, 2Face Idibia, Nas, Shaggy, Sade, Sting, to name a few. I admire them and I remain true to my philosophy creating a bridge between African culture and other cultures.

Unforgettable performance and why?

My unforgettable performances would be Save Africa Foundation concert with the wonderful Winnie Mandela in the audience and Black Panther under the Stars. I have other unforgettable performances.

Other hobbies aside singing?

Other hobbies are soccer, swimming, and just getting away from time to time. It helps me rejuvenate, get me fired up to record more songs for my fans.

What is the greatest price you have paid for your career?

The greatest price I have paid, I don’t really have one. What I would say is the greatest lesson, having a tight inner circle you trust is important.

What project are you working on at the moment?

I have a few projects, I like to keep those details close and then surprise my fans. My EP “Akeju the EP ft Beenie Man and Lil scrappy (love and hip – hop) ” and also my mixtape with Dj Kaywise was recently released. Outside of music I am in corporate America working on several projects. I am the CEO and President of Aflik TV, an admin for international content at Amazon prime and I also provide content for several platforms, Netflix, Hulu, Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Nobles to name a few.

What is your relationship status now?

I am single and available.

You are single and available, so how do you handle your female fans?

I just appreciate them; they are fantastic; you can’t get too caught up. You can’t let it get into your head. You can’t indulge in a lifestyle where you start to slip up because you are single. But I do appreciate them and try to live up to everybody’s expectations.

Who is your female crush and why?

Well to put this straight, every woman out there deserves the best. One woman that has stolen my heart secretly is Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola (Dj Cuppy). I really love what she’s doing and how she has successfully carved a niche for herself in the industry. Hopefully one day we will go out on a date and have more Gelato..

Looking back, any regret so far?

I have no regrets. Before making any decision, I always pray and fast for divine directions. So far, God has really been faithful to me.

Any word for your fans out there?

Be loyal and true to yourself. If you have a dream, stay focused on it. Things don’t happen overnight, remain persistent and keep pushing. Bless up!!!

Related posts