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Media, technology hold key to change Nigeria’s narrative

By Princewill Ekwujuru
Speakers Thursday, at the 7th Innovention series organised by Verdant Zeal Group, said the media and technology holds the key to changing the African narrative.

The speakers also called on government to provide enabling environment to help change the Nigerian narrative.

From left Yahaya Makori, Founding Partner, Law Allianz; Bisoye Fagade, CEO, Sodium Brand Solutions; Alibaba Akpobome, Founder, Alibaba Hicuppuray 3rd; Darey Art Alade, Creative Director, Livespot Group and Moderator; Bolanle Austen Peters, Founder/CEO, Terra Culture; Ramsey Nouah, CEO, Ramsey Films and Ade Adefeko, Vice President, Corporate and Government Relations, OLAM Nigeria, all Panelists at the 7th Verdant Zeal Innovention Series held in Lagos on Thursday. Photo Lamidi Bamidele

Speaking, Executive Vice Chairman of the Group, Dr. Tunji Olugodi at the programme themed Building Africa’s Reputation Through Mediatainment in Lagos, said: “About two decades ago, Africa had an ignoble past as a continent ridden with corruption and was renowned for poverty, human rights violations amongst others.”

He however, said the narrative has started changing as Africa is currently credited with many global creative works, which have been amplified through media exposure and the internet. The creative industry has changed the perspective about Africa.

He went on to say, “this evolution has changed the ecosystem within the industry and it has brought fortune to youngsters; offsetting monopolies and creating a new distribution model.

As it is said, “Content is King” in this dispensation. With this development, we all have to migrate into the new era and one of the ways is by learning from the colossus.”

Quoting a 2014 statistics released by the Nigerian government, he said, “Nollywood was valued as a $3.3 billion sector, with 1844 movies produced in 2013 alone. In the last 4 years, that figure would have increased tremendously.

With productions like Saro the Musical, Wakaa, The Wedding Party franchise, Web Series, Love like a movie, Science Student, Skinny Girl in Transit, and of course, Wakanda, Africa is clearly taking the lead in telling its stories.”

“There are many observers who believe that the global reach of African content could take off, led by video on demand (VOD), powered by the internet and strong distribution networks. This is driven by the popularity of Nigerian content across Africa and the diaspora.”

He also stated that the National Bureau of Statistics NBS, data also highlighted the creative industry’s greatest shortcoming which is severe revenue bleed.

Of the industry’s $3.3billion valuation, he observed that less than one percent was tracked from official ticket sales and royalties. The rest came from pirated reproductions sold by unauthorized vendors for roughly $2 each.

As a result, producers and financiers see only a fraction of the movie industry’s economic value.
These challenges, he noted can be “overcome when there’s a concerted strategy to take ownership, build structures and inspire excellence.

In order to tap into the full potentials of this sector, we would be considering, “Building Africa’s Reputation through Mediatainment”.

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