By Chris Ihidero
How did I become the Moaner-in-Chief of the Nigerian entertainment scene? Taking a look at my articles for this newspaper, it suddenly hit me that I have been moaning non-stop about all that is wrong with the entertainment industry, so much so that anyone who did not know me personally would think that I find no joy in any aspect of the industry, or that I’m by nature a sadist. Nothing could be further from the truth! I’m quite a jolly good fellow, if you don’t believe, ask my friends.
In the spirit of this resurgence of optimism, may I have the pleasure of sharing with you some of the things I’m loving at the moment in the entertainment scene?
Music has become an all-comers affair, as it should be! It has never been easier to make music in Nigeria. Never has technology made it this easy for anyone to produce music, in one form or the other. While you needed studios, engineers, and all the likes in days past, today, with a laptop and some software, you are good to go! Many thanks to those guys at computer village. Now, any and everyone is a musician and all kinds of music are available for our listening (dis)pleasure. Let those purists who seek to beat us over the head with the need to only make ‘real’ music keep at it; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Since no one has successfully defined what ‘real’ music is, I say bring it on, all of it! There’s of course a long way to go between producing a song and getting it out to the larger society beyond blogosphere, but that’s not why we are here today!
Talking about blogs and websites…they are everywhere these days, aren’t they? Throw a stone into blogosphere and you’ll most likely hit a Nigerian on the head. A Nigerian entertainment blog/site is just a click away, and we are not just talking about the regular suspects like Bellanaija, Notjustok, Lindaikeji, Nairaland, 360Nobs and the likes. I like that people are trying to engage our art and artistes through different platforms, especially as traditional media continues to fail in this regard. We will of course have to live with all that comes with such freedom of engagement: diatribe disguised as balanced opinion; amplified padi-padi hyping camouflaged as critical truth; paid PR agents masquerading as God-sent and battle ready evangelists propagating the dawn of a new era as defined by those that pay them…and the malicious comments of course.
Music videos look so good these days that one is often tempted to lick the screen! The pictures are so sharp and the camera work so fluid that one almost wants to scream at Nollywood practitioners: CAN YOU SEE THIS? With cheaper DLSR cameras and lenses, the possibilities are now endless. The good work that people like DJ Tee, Clarence Peters, Akin Alabi, Kemi Adetiba, Gbenga Salu and others are doing needs to be commended. Now, our videos can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with videos from anywhere in the world. We may have a debate over what exactly the videos say beyond how they look some other time. For now, can we just revel in the glory of where we were visually and where we are now? Thanks! Remember, no moaning today.
International exposure is daily becoming the norm. If you are truly a major artiste, getting international exposure on one of the international media platforms is almost a given these days. Over the past couple of months, Nigerian artistes have been featured on global platforms such as CNN, MTV and BET. Not only did these artistes feature, they also represented the country commendably. 2Face Idibia, D’Banj, P-Square, M.I and Genevieve have had pretty good interviews on these global networks and they have held their own. There is still a lot left to be desired on the home front though, but there is hope. With a new House of Assembly coming on soon, one hopes that a bill will be quickly passed, banning the abominable ‘May we meet you’ question that seems to be a prerequisite for qualification as a Nigerian ‘entertainment journalist’! But hey, let’s not get carried away…we are NOT moaning today!
There! See, it’s pretty easy to be jolly!
*Ihidero is a Lagos-based writer and filmmaker
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