By ISHOLA BALOGUN
Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli, MFR, a renowned flutist opens up on the activities of Fame Corp., a body incorporated by concerned entertainment egg heads to ensure that the Nigerian artistes get paid the right fees. He also speaks on how the body was formed and other burning issues especially as it concerns the entertainment industry.Â Read on.
Whatâ€™s Fame Corp and how was it formed?
On the 15th of October, 2009 , Fame Corp Limited was registered, in copying United Artistes in the United States formed by Charly Chaplin in 1919. In those days in America , the artistes were paid between 5,000-10,000 dollars a week, while Film Corporation in Hollywood made millions of dollars weekly.
The United Artistes broke open the gate for film stars in America and they made 5_10 million dollars per movie. United Artistes feel the pulse and network of the movie industry in America , so that a movie on the opening can make 50_100 million dollars weekly. As at today, over 70 top celebrities from film, music, producers, business sectors are part of Fame Corp Limited.
Members of Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria, PMAN, top celebrities from the business sector came together and paid the sum of N50, 000 each to shareholder. Important dignitaries like Donald Duke, Emeka Anyaokwu, Pascal Dozie and others paid the sum of N100, 000 each to become shareholders in Fame Corp. On the first Annual General Meeting, AGM, directors were elected onto the board.
Sunny Nneji was elected a director representing the interest of the musicians, Stella Abulo got elected as director for performing arts and Bob Manuel_Udokwu was elected for Nollywood. As at today, Fame Corp Limited parades 11 directors. After the AGM, we had our first board meeting. It was during the board meeting, I was elected the maiden chairman of Fame Corp.
How do you cope with this new responsibility?
My newest status with Fame Corp is a big responsibility to me because I intend to raise up to 100 million, while our partnership with Fidelity Bank will ensure the bank provide us with another 100 million for smooth operations. After that, we will go public as a PLC and raise the sum of N10billion. The money will be used to set up entertainment and cinema centers in every state of the federation. Our presence will be felt in every local government in the country, so that Nollywood can be shown in all villages.
And musicians can perform in any local government in the federation. When we go public as a PLC, I appeal to every Nigerians to buy the shares. Fame Corp is like a goldmine. I can assure you that if you buy share now, you will make the gain in return. Showbizness worldwide is the second biggest money_spinner. There is nothing disturbing Nigeria from making showbizness bigger than crude oil. Also, showbizness enhances tourism because music is centered round tourism. My prayer for 2010 is that every Niger
ian should support local artistes.
What are the objectives of Fame Corp?
Fame Corp was conceptualized to change and re_brand the image of Nigeria in the eyes of international community. The body is directly in charge of showbiz in Nigeria .
Why Fame Corp?
Fame Corporation Limited is the corporation for famous people that make shareholders famous as well. Bob Manuel_Udokwu represents Nollywood on the board. There are other shareholders like Kate Henshaw_Nuttal and other celebrities in the movie sector who are now part of Fame Corp.
How are the challenges facing the association?
There is nothing in life without challenges . But your ability to overcome those challenges makes you a victor.
But itâ€™sÂ possible for some people to raise eye brows for not being elected as members of the board?
We are used to disgruntled people who are empty upstairs, with no idea whatsoever, but to cause disaffection wherever they are. In Nigeria , when you have three people, you will have three different opinions.
What lasting legacy will you like to leave behind at the expiration of your tenure?
Fame Corp will become bigger than Transnational Corporation, Transcorp in 24 months because we will control, censure and control showbizness in Nigeria . And if showbizness is the biggest money earner anywhere in the world, there is nothing stopping Fame Corp from becoming a multi_dollar business. Let me also say here that Marlon Jackson was the center of attraction recently, when he showed the world a film clip of the tourist project in Badagry.
What is your assessment of the nationâ€™s music industry?
Certainly, there is significant growth in the Nigerian music industry, with arrays of ideas and creativity by young movie and music practitioners..