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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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Basket Mouth Returns To Music

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Bright Okpocha, aka Basketmouth is certified on these streets. Having run the comedy game for nearly two decades, Basketmouth has returned to music, his first love with the release of Yabasi. This album also serves as a soundtrack to his new comedy series, Papa Benji.
“I started working on the project called Papa Benji it’s an online comedy series and it’s situated in a beer parlour and one thing in a beer parlour apart from beer is music, so I started running around meeting artistes telling them, ‘I need your song’,” Basketmouth said in an interview.
“I didn’t want limitation to where I could take songs to. So what I did was, I decided to make my own music and the great thing about it is that I always wanted to create a new kind of sound.
“My first attempt was in 1995. I tried it with one of the old PSR but l needed to disk to save files so it was really hectic.
“I always wanted to blend the Igbo music with Hip-hop. When the idea came, I was like, this is the perfect time to do it. So that’s what made me do it. That’s the core reason. Apart from that, music was my first love.”
Music was indeed Basketmouth’s first love. He fell in love with hip-hop as a teenager in Kirikiri neighbourhood of Lagos. He and his friends then created a six-man rap group called The Psychopaths.
Heavily influenced by the legendary American hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, The Psychopaths went around their neighbourhood battling other rappers. Basketmouth remembered a particular battle in Festac which his crew finished second.
“We did a lot of stuff. I used to open for Plantashun Boiz,” he added.
Aside from some underground buzz, Basketmouth’s rap career never took off. He spoke of a bad stage experience that changed the course of his journey in entertainment.
“I was on stage, I like to be creative with some stuff. So I went to the DJ and so we worked on a beat, you know the song by Fela ‘Everybody Run Run Run’.
“We made it into Hip-hop. So I created the beat and told my guys and they loved it. And when we got on stage, they were not ready for that. This was 1998, they were not ready for that.
“This was hardcore, it was too confusing. What will happen was that anytime we said ‘everybody run run run,’ they said ‘get out’.
“When I knew it was ‘get out’ they were saying, I was very upset. So I told the DJ, ‘let’s stop I want to face these guys’ and I started firing them.”
In a move that birthed his comedy career, Basketmouth faced the dismissive crowd and returned with verbal violence, using his wit to get back at them.
“I started entering everybody, one after the other. For straight 30 minutes, I was on them and after I was done, one of my guys, Ena Ofugara walked up to me and was like ‘Bright, you should do comedy’.
“Then Samson Ehimohai, he’s late now, was one of the guys that also influenced that idea. He was like ‘do it’.

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Burna Boy, Rema, Others Lead MOBO Award Nomination

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Burna Boy and Rema were nominated in the best international act category alongside Drake, Megan thee Stallion, the late pop smoke, Lil baby and more.
On November 24,2020, nominations for the 2020 Music for Black Origin(MOBO) Awards were announced. Nigerian stars, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Rema, Fireboy, Adekunle Gold and Tiwa Savage got nods at the event which honours black music from all corners of the world.
Burna Boy and Rema were nominated, Ghanaian stars, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy also got nods alongside Ivorian Afro B, South African Master KG and NSG, British rapper Nines leads overall nominations after a stellar year. This is the first edition of the MOBO Awards since 2017.
Before Covid 19, the return of MOBO Award was slated for wembly, its award season as Grammy nominations are to be announced- Headies have called for submissions.

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Burna Boy Gets Second Grammy Award Nomination For Twice As Tall

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Earlier in 2020, Burna Boy’s album, “African Giant”, lost the nomination at the Grammy’s to Angelique Kidjo’s reimagination of Celia Cruz’s music on the eponymous, celia. On November 24,2020, the Nigerian super star, Burna Boy, got his second Grammy Nomination in the best global music category. This award comes from his latest album Twice As Tall.
Recording academy announced the category formerly known as “Best World Music Album”. If Burna Boy wins, he will become Nigeria’s next Grammy award winner since Sikiru Adepoju won with Planet Drum over 10 years ago.
Beyonce’s video for Brown Skin Girl got a nod for best music video but it is unclear if that concurs with Wizkid who is a featured artiste the song along side Blue Ivy Carter, Beyonce’s daughter and  Saint JHN.

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