As Rivers State celebrates its 43rd anniversary with pomp and pageantry, it is pertinent to note the achievements, progress, challenges and prospects of the entertainment industry as partners in the growth and development of the oil rich state since its creation in May 27, 1967. There is however, no doubt that over the years, the industry has experienced the good, the bad and the ugly sides in its development strides.
The good aspect is the positive transformation of the industry from its obscure state to a position of reckoning. Today Rivers State is respected as “Nigeria’s home of entertainment. The bad aspect include paucity of funds, sponsorship, leadership tussle and poor distribution framework among others, while the ugly side has remained the nagging problem of piracy and the excesses of the movie and music marketers.
Despite these problems, the industry still remains a force to reckon with in the political and economic development of the country as well as its contribution to the rebranding of the country as well as the promotion of the cultural and social values of the nation among others.
To fully understand the achievements of the industry, its exploits will be discussed based on the various aspects which include:
The Movie Industry: The Movie industry in Rivers State since 1967 is a success strory. Apart from being a vibrant sector with lots of glaring achievements, it has produced the best crop of talents in the nation’s make believe industry called Nollywood. The state boasts of the best locations, hospitality outlets and other facilities for the production of standard movies that can stand the test of time both locally and internationally.
In the early days, we had popular Television series such as, ‘Bassey and Company,’ produced by late Ken Sarowiwa, Obigbo connection with artistes such as Adiele Onyedibia, Paul Worika, Columbus Irosoanga, Sam Dede etc.
Presently, the state has produced top stars who make waves in Nollywood. They include: Engr. Reginald Orlu, Chairman Assocations of Movie producers, Rivers State chapter, Hilda Dokubo, Basorge Tariah, Ibinabo Fiberesima, Gentle Jack, Larry Briggs, Columbus Irosoanga, Tonto Dike, Monalisa Chinda, Vikky Eeen, Alaso Wariboko etc.
The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), which is currently headed by Ibinabo Fiberesima, has also produced many films which include ‘Snake Kingdom’, “War of Roses”, Double Trouble, ‘Battle of the gods’, ‘School Life’, Elegible Spinster, ‘Lost Glory’, ‘Who Cares and’ Sounds Of Love’ among others. It will also be recalled that apart from these achievements, most Nollywood stars who hold sway in the industry today were trained in Rivers State among whom were Ejike Asiegbu, Ini Edo, Sunny Mc Don, Clem Ohaneze etc.
Last year, the Rivers State government sponsored the ION film festival which was hosted here in Port Harcourt. It also happens to be the first time such an international event would be hosted in Africa. The event brought together all the top practitioners from Hollywood of America, Bollywood of India, Gollywood of Ghana and other movie industries of the world to partner with Nollywood, it was the biggest thing to happened to the Nigerian movie industry with a lot of positive developments to show for it.
That same 2009, the state government sponsored the ECOWAS beauty pageant which, was hosted here in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital with galaxy of beautiful stars from across the African continent in attendance. It was also a big boost for the tourism sector and opened new avenues for investment and corporation. It is therefore no gainsaying the fact that the entertainment industry has remained a dependable source of revenue for the state all these years despite its shortcomings.
Music industry: The music industry in the state is also developing at a fast pace. It is on record that Rivers State produced the legendary highlife King of Africa, late Cardinal Rex Lawson, who took highlife music beyond the shores of Africa. His music is still played in most of the civilized Western world such as Europe and America. After him, other equally very good lighlife musicians from the state took over. They include King Sunny Brown, King David Bull, late Jackwest Omodu of Garden City Band, the Great Sinya and his Seamasters band etc. We also have other modern musicians like Duniel Wilson, Duncan Mighty, Lexy M, Stone Cold, Muma Gee etc, who are doing very well in the music scene, among others.
Cultural entertainment: When we talk of cultural entertainment we refer to our various cultural dances and plays that not only entertain, but showcase our rich cultural heritage to the outside world. Our cultural dances, plays, and masquaerades like the Orukoro, Odum, Wokorogbo etc, have helped to highlight the acquatic culture of Rivers people and assisted in promoting the growth of entertainment in the state.
Nite Clubbing: This is another aspect of entertainment in the state. Apart from providing entertainment, it gives the fun seekers the opportunity to make new friends and exchange business ideas.
There is no doubt that Port Harcourt is one of the leading states in night clubbing with international standard facilities and the best of music, dance and other side attractions.
It will be recalled that in the ‘90s, the popular nite clubs were Blue Pelican, Chichi night club, Acquarius and later Dreams, which gave way to Parallax, Lulus, Chakas place and Friends Night clubs. Also on the list were Charlies, O.J. Maroni, Rollingstone, Bootleggers Morella, Studiz, etc. Today, most of them are out of business except a few such as Cassablanca, Boomerang etc.
There is no doubt that the entertainment clan in the state has come a long way and still dorminates. The nations entertainment business.
Artiste Decries High Cost Of Music Production
A Port Harcourt based artiste and song writer Reginald Bekinbo popularly known as JahReigns has lamented the high cost of music production in Rivers State.
Bekinbo who is also the acting chairman of the Performing Musicians Employers Association Of Nigeria (PMAN) Rivers Chapter made this known in an interview with The Tide Entertainment yesterday.
According to him, the cost of music production in the State is becoming alarming.
He explained that for one to get a music done you will have to pay twenty-five thousand naira (#25,000) for a track and pay an extra amount for fuel where there is no power, saying that this does not get the work done, as the 25,000 fee covers the voiceover only.
“ It is quite disheartening that you pay such an amount for just a track’s voiceover, then you take to another Studio for the Mix and master of the song, which would cost you not less than #20’000 for upcoming artistes at my level. It does not end there each time you go for mixing you have to buy fuel for the mixer which does not include promotion and videoing of the song,” he lamented.
He said that as an artiste, he also has a clothing store just to support his career, saying most singers have chosen the brain drain for themselves and you can not blame them because it is difficult to excel as an Artiste here in the State.
“ It is clear why people go to Lagos to establish their career. Just imagine a situation where someone heard my song and wanted to meet me and some other person told him that if he wanted to see me he should come to Victoria Street, the young man said he thought l should be in Lagos and they eventually found me at Victoria Street in Port Harcourt. Where l have my clothing store. What could be more degrading? Situation like that devalues your person as an Artiste, l mean, it depreciates your worth,” he added.
Bekinbo who recently released a video on one of his singles titled “Ngwanu” said that though the video has not been played in a cable station, could be downloaded from the internet, noting that the cost of shooting and promoting a video or song is alarming.
“ It is not easy at all,, I met the cable guy and he said that for International and Local promo for the video is eight hundred and fifty naira(850,000) while for local, here would cost me four hundred and fifty naira(450.000).
I am yet to afford the fee. If you go to Redem Station to play your audio you will pay not less than two hundred naira, so what we do is to befriend DJ’s and in a studio you have up to three DJ’s you will give them #20,000 and then, make sure to send them callcard at least three times in a month.
He said that if well-meaning individuals in the State would do well to extend helping hand or support the music industry it will go a long way to motivating Artistes in the State.
He however mentioned king of Okochiri, Kingdom, His Royal Father Ateke Tom as an individual and Gravings Records as an organization that have been supportive, saying that each time they to perform for them they made sure to at least take care of them.
“ If the needed motivation is given l tell you, with a million naira we could realize five Million in three months,” he assured.
By: Nancy Briggs
Pheelz, BNXN, Others Make FIFA 23 Soundtrack
Pheelz’s ‘Finesse’ featuring BNXN FKA Buju and Bad Boy Timz’s ‘Skelele’ featuring Olamide, Seun Kuti’s Ku ku Kee Me ft. American rapper Black Thought as well as 2022 Qatar Official world cup song, Hayya Hayya (Better Together) by Davido ft. Trinidad Cardona, & Aisha have been included in the soundtrack for FIFA 23 console game.
The full FIFA 23 soundtrack has been officially confirmed by EA, with over five hours of music in the game in total across its different modes.
The Tide Entertainment reports that the Afrobeats stars will join a long list of other artists spread across the world to make up the Soundtrack of one of the highest-selling video games.
Fireboy DML’s ‘Scatter’ and Rema’s ‘Beamer featured on EA Sports, Fifa 21 official soundtrack.
Introducing the FIFA23 Soundtrack.
Featuring over 100 songs from artists representing 34 countries. Listen now on Spotify.
The VOLTA soundtracks were introduced from FIFA 20. The songs on that mode drive street action with the latest and greatest in grime, electronic, and hip-hop.
With artists including Labrinth, Role Model, and Odesza, the full list of songs in FIFA 23 is something of an eclectic mix.
These customised kits – which are designed to personify each artists’ personality – will be available for players to unlock through certain objectives from 27th September when early access for the game mode launches.
Pheelz and others also designed Custom FUT kits for FIFA 23.
In a press release on Thursday, EA teased: “The carefully curated mixture of hip hop, alternative, electronic dance and pop music transports players directly into the game of street football.”
Artists such as Jack Harlow, ROSALIA, Pheelz and Central Cee have also played a bigger part in the game, designing their own FIFA Ultimate Team kits.
FIFA 23 was released worldwide on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Stadia, PS4, and Xbox One on /
Afrobeats Category May Soon Be Added To The Grammy Awards
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Recording Academy, Mr Harvey Mason Junior has disclosed in a press conference in Ghana that the institution is considering the addition of an Afrobeats category to next year’s 65th Annual Grammy Awards.
The Tide Entertainment Reports that TurnTable Charts, a Nigerian chart analytics platform and magazine, tweeted a segment of the conference captured on video, in which Mason says he and other Recording Academy brass “just had a meeting literally about six or seven days ago with leaders from the Afrobeats community” to discuss the potential move.
“We had a virtual listening session where we heard from Afrobeats creators and just talked about ‘What are the different subgenres? What are the needs? What are the desires?,’” he adds. “And my goal is to represent all genres of music, including Afrobeats, at the Grammys.” he said.
Mason makes it clear in the video, however, that the decision is far from final.
“I don’t decide categories,” he explains.
“The categories are decided by proposals submitted by members.
“The members can say ‘Harvey, I want an Afrobeat category…’ So that process has started now. I think the listening session last week was very important, very valuable, and a step towards that path.”
The Recording Academy is now considering an Afrobeats category at the annual Grammys ceremony .
Harvey Manson Jr., the CEO of The Academy, revealed in an interview with the press in Ghana over the weekend.
The Afrobeat music genre was established by the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in the late 1960s and early 70s, however, it gained international appeal in the late 2010s due to the influence of the genre’s flag bearers- Wizkid, Burna Boy and Davido.
It has become one of the most influential genres across Africa and the rest of the world.
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