Nigeria’s entertainment industry saw a palpable growth in 2016. Artistes worked harder, the hard work paid off for most, new artistes emerged, the shows got bigger, Nigerian movies broke records, Nollywood diversified for good and Nigeria marked her place on the world’s showbiz map. As the year wrapped up, it was safe to say that everyone that put in real work is content with how 2016 turned out.
All that said, there is always plenty of room for improvement, plenty of opportunities to do better, plenty of lessons to learn. Sitting back in contentment like we’ve already hit the mark will be the death of the industry and everything worked for. So for the sake of progress and greater feats, here are some of the things that should change in Nigeria’s entertainment industry in the coming year (oh, it’s already here…):
Improve on content: Yemi Alade has been trending on Twitter in the last two days for that one reason we’ve occasionally pointed out: trash lyrics. You can make it this far with rubbish music and movies but in 2017, the Nigerian audience will step up and leave trash behind. These people have tasted excellence and will never again settle for mediocrity.
We won’t take classless music like Tumbum, Gucci Ferragamo and every other nonsense that belongs in this category in 2017. Award organizers also need to do better; don’t reward trash in the new year while you sideline good music. It’s not hard.
2. Old Nollywood should please give way for new Nollywood: New Nollywood gave us The Wedding Party, The Arbitration, ’76, 93 Days, The CEO and the likes. We’re aware that some people from old Nollywood who still shoot low budget, poor quality movies are not comfortable with the CHANGE and have refused to acknowledge this evolution.
One advice! You will not be able to beat them so kindly give way, join them or quit the industry in 2017.
3. Artistes, please understand that record deal before you sign it: In June 2016, Skales and Baseline Music were embroiled in a major controversy surrounding his contract with the label. Skales and his manager, Osagie were reprimanded in police custody for alleged fraudulent activities including diversion of funds.
Runtown ran into issues with Ericmanny Entertainment under which he was signed too. He was served a court injunction preventing him from performing at events of recording new songs without permission.
We know the hustle is tough but artistes need to be more alert and conversant with the terms offered by record labels before they jump on these contracts in 2017.
4. Welcome criticism: A number of movie makers couldn’t stomach honest criticism of their works this 2016 and we understand how it must feel having someone deprecate your hard work. But in the long run, it’s all love and hope for better output so it might be helpful if you see it as that.
In 2017, it will do Nigerian artistes in music and movies a great deal of good if they humbly accept criticism. Unwarranted aggressiveness may backfire terribly, we saw this in Omoni Oboli’s comment section recently.
5. Music artistes, PLEASE no more CDs at concerts: If we wanted to listen to your songs on CD, we’d do that in our living rooms or cars. People don’t get to pay millions of naira for tables to watch live performances only for the artistes to sing along to their own CDs. It’s lazy, it’s unacceptable and we will eventually lose respect for such artistes.
In 2017, we demand that musicians put efforts in rehearsing and giving the audience quality stage shows. Most of you have this one job, do it well.
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6. Learn from The Wedding Party: The movie was released late 2016, it has broken records and set new standards for movie makers in the country. Through 2017, The Wedding Party will still make it to news headlines, will still sell out in cinemas and the stellar performances by the cast will linger in our memories for long.
We will not welcome subpar movies or even pay to watch them in 2017.
7. Poorly organized award shows: We saw the Headies and the Soundcity MVP Awards. Viewers did a lot of comparisons, both shows have been reviewed and flaws have been pointed out. What organizers should do is listen to critics, learn from mistakes, plan ahead of forthcoming editions and make it work.
We know the difference between a show that was well put-together but ended up with unavoidable flaws and a show where organizers were too non-challant to give their best.
Also, be in proper sync with artistes who will win but have communicated their absence at the event, make them record “Thank You” videos to be played when they’re announced. We’re tired of having strangers pick up awards multiple times in a 4-hour event.