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Transforming Nigeria Through Movies, Music, Arts

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Oil since its discovery in commercial quantity in Nigeria has dominated the nation’s economy, oil exports have contributed 98 percent of the Federal Government’s revenue. This over dependence has made the Nigeria’s economy unstable, non-static and has displayed a large over dependence on oil incomes.
It is on this premise that studies have been carried out to identify other sectors of the economy that could minimise the over dependence and mono economy syndrome of the nation. One of the veritable sectors is the entertainment industry, also known as the creative sector which comprises the movie, music, comedy, arts and culture, among others.
As Nigeria celebrates 60 years of independence from colonial rule, an indepth analysis of these eventful years reveals that the creative industry is dynamic and has not only generated unprecedented wealth for the country, but has also created employment opportunities for her citizens, contributed immensely towards transforming the country into a leading nation in Africa as well as a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world.
After Nigeria’s independence in October 1,1960, the cinema business rapidly expanded. In 1972, the indigenisation Decree issued by the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon encouraged the transfer of ownership of about 300 cinema houses from their foreign owners to Nigerians resulting in more Nigerians playing active roles in cinemas and film businesses.
Today, Nigeria’s film industry popularly known as Nollywood is adjudged the third largest film industry in the world after Hollywood of America and Bollywood of India and contributed 2.3 percent (N 239 billion) to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016. It is one of the priority sectors identified in the economic and recovery growth plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria with a planned $ 1 billion in export revenue by the end of 2020.
In the music sector, music has become Nigeria’s new export, in November 2017, Nigeria’s music star, Wizkid won the Best International Act category at the Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards held in London, the first for Africa-based artistes. At the same MOBO Awards, another Nigerian super star, Davido, took home the Best African Act Award for his song “IF”, a love themed ballad with a blend of Nigerian rhythms and RnB.
Since its release in February 2017, the official IF video has raked in up more than 60 million views on You Tube views for any Nigerian music video and one of the highest ever recorded for a song by an African
Across the African continent, other musical groups such as Kenya’s, boy band, Soto Sol, Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz and South Africa’s Mafikizolo have collaborated with or featured Nigerian top stars in attempts to gain international appeal.
Reuters news service calls Nigerian music,’’ a cultural export’ and the Nigerian government is now looking towards the creative industry including performing arts and music to generate revenue.
Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics Report that the local music sector grew in real term by 8.4 percent for the first three months of 2016 and that in the first quarter of 2017 the sector grew by 12 percent compared with the same period one year prior.
The Price Water Cooper (PWC) reports that the global attention the Nigerian music scene has received in the past three years has been accelerating. There is no better time for Nigerian artistes to use data and insight to reach billions with their musical content which will help to reposition the country.
According to the vice president, International Strategy and Sperations Warner Music Group, Mr. Temi Adeniyi,” the promise of what could be achieved by Nigeria’s booming music industry in the next decade is awe-inspiring especially if the industry focuses on the critical issues of adequate compensation and piracy.
In Arts, the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe noted that” culture is the new revenue driving sector which can serve as an alternative to the oil sector in Nigeria “
He stated this at the official opening of the 13th edition of Akwaa Travel and Tourism fare in Lagos in 2017. He maintained that culture was a viable alternative revenue generating sector that could help to boost the economy.
According to a recent entertainment and media output report by PWC, Nigerian entertainment and media industry is expected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to $10.8 billion by the end of 2023.The report which was released in October 2019 disclosed that the market is dominated by internet revenue as it presently contributes about 61 percent of the sector’s revenue followed by television and radio which is expected to push towards $1billion in revenue by 2023.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said, “We are ready to explore and exploit the new oil. When we talk about diversifying the economy, it is not just Agriculture or solid Minerals alone, it is about the creative industry, about the films, theatre and music”.
The minister made the comments ahead of a Creative Industry Financing Conference held in Lagos in 2018.He noted that the Nigerian government is already providing incentives in the sector including a recent $1 million venture capital fund to provide seed money for young and talented Nigerians preparing to set up business in the creative industry.
He also said, “The country is allowing the industry pioneer status, meaning that those inventing in motion picture, video and TV production, music production publishing, distribution exhibition and photography can enjoy a three to five years tax holiday.
Other incentives such as government backed and privately backed investment funds are also been implemented. The minister noted that with the impressive performance so far recorded, the creative industry has been viewed as a sector that could help the government reach its goal of diversifying the nation’s economy away from oil.

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Nollywood Actors, Actresses Lead EndSARS Protests

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Top Nigerian entertainers have been lending their voices to the endSARS protests in Nigeria. In the eleven days since the protest commenced, top Nigerian entertainers have made major moves in ensuring that their voices are in solidarity not just with the protesters, but against the system needing reform.
In no particular order, here is a list of Nollywood stars actively protesting.
Genevieve Nnaji:  The revered film maker has been very vocal about her stand on the protests since its inception days ago.So far, she has remained active on twitter with tweets reiterating the demands of the people. In addition, the actress wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Toyin Abraham : After her daylong episode with aggrieved twitter users, the actress took to the streets of Ibadan where she is currently filming to speak up against police brutality, but it doesn’t end in the streets for Abraham. The actress has been actively sharing air time to online protesters. Recently, she engaged NIDCOM chairperson, Abike Dabiri via twitter on Nigerians in Cairo, who were arrested for protesting.
Let the whole world know that the peaceful protesters in Cairo were arrested by Nigerian Embassy, another case of you people failed us again.
Ken Erics: Amid the actor’s offline and online protests,he has been very vocal about his personal experience with officers of the now defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) as a youth corp member. The actor shared on Facebook how he was arrested and detained for one week and how the trauma nearly ruined his life.
Omoni Oboli,Uche Jombo and Chioma Akpotha:  It has been the whole nine yards for the colleagues turned close friends since the protests began, the actresses have taken to sensitising market women protesting at popular spots and providing funded refreshments for protesters.
Kate Henshaw : From joining other protesters at major protest spots, Henshaw has also lent her resources to supporting the online protests with tweets, retweets and Free airtime for users.
Funke Akindele-Bello: While the filmmaker has been quite vocal, she has also taken the extra step to provide online protesters with airtime.
Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD):The veteran actor is currently flooding his Instagram account with useful information on the SARS protests

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Nollywood Epic: Rise Of The Saints Debuts In Cinemas

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Tosin Olateru’s directorial debut, Rise Of The Saints is currently screening in cinemas nation wide. Apart from it being Olateru’s directorial debut, it is also the feature film debut of the leading man, Tele Kup-onyi, the actor who plays Luke, the reincarnated son of Moreno Ajasoro.
The flick gives a fictitious spin to the story of Yoruba’s revered princess who sacrificed herself for her subjects, her prophesed son is manifest in Luke, a Young aspiring musician orphaned at birth and raised by his aunt.
Luke is suddenly plunged into a battle of two worlds of light and darkness. He joins forces with The Sa, a group of people charged with the duty of protecting the legacy of Moreno and together, they must employ all their wits to defeat the ferocious war lord, Jagan.
Amid all, Luke has no choice but to take the biggest test of his life, chose between a destiny of honour or his dazzling dream of music and fame.
A fictional story of a man’s struggle to succeed against the evil that plagues him, the project is motivated by the determination to make a change in the psyche of the youth in our society. It hopes to accomplish this by showing through the movie that despite the circumstances around, we can thrive and achieve no matter how big.
Produced by Bolanle Olasunde, Rise Of The Saints features great stars like Peter Fatomilo, Rachel Oniga and Tina Mba, among others.

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James Bond’s Movie, No Time To Die Returns

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The new James Bond’s movie, No Time To Die, recently became the latest blockbuster to be pushed into next year as the movie industry struggles to get back to business amid coronavirus pandemic.
Bond’s exit leaves Wonder Woman 1964 currently set to debut in December on Christmas day as one of the few big movies still on the 2020 slate. Other big budget flicks including Marvel’s Black Widow and a top gun sequel also have been delayed until next year.
‘No Time To Die’ from MGM and Comcast corp’s universal pictures originally was set to hit the big screen in April 2020, before being delayed until November. The new date is April 2,2021.A fast and furious sequel scheduled for that date was moved to May 28,2021.
The movie studios and producers, Michael G.Wilson and Babara Broceli said the bond, film was delayed in order to be seen by a world wide theatrical audience.
“ We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans, but we now look forward to sharing ‘No Time To Die’ next year, they said on official James Bond’s twitter account.
The decision follows a disappointing effort to set Americans back into multiplexes after the pandemic shuttered cinemas world wide in March. While AMC entertainment Cine world PLC and others have re- opened, many locations and crowds have been seen in theatres in many markets of New York and Los Angeles remain shut.
Studios are having to continually confront the hard facts of a very challenging market place, said Cormscore senior media analyst, Paid Dergatabedian. But he added that the Bond delay showed that producers believe theatres were preferred destinations for the film.
Some movies have skipped theatres and headed straight to streaming services, the Bond franchise is one of the world’s most lucrative with 2015’s Spectre raking in $ 880 million at the box office world wide, while Skyfall in 2020 grossed more than $ 1 billion globally.
‘No Time To Die’ which cost an estimated $ 200 million to produce, marks actor Daniel Craig’s last outing as agent 007.

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