By Benjamin Njoku
As year 2019, has begun in earnest, many sectors of Nigerian economy are still busy taking stock of activities that defined the immediate past year. And the country’s entertainment sector is no exception.
The industry last year fared exceedingly well, and many stakeholders acknowledged that it was a year of great achievements and growth.
According to Alex Eyengho, the Vice President, International Federation of Film Producers Association, FIAF, the industry comprising the movie industry, music and comedy sectors did pretty well in 2018. In Nollywood particularly, filmmakers who spoke the only known language of film, smiled to the bank more than ever before with theatrical releases alone.
Eyengho noted that the success recorded in the movie industry was made possible following a professionally planned publicity and advertising.
Speaking further, Eyengho, who is the APC candidate for the Warri federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives for the forthcoming general elections on February 16, said “By language of film, I mean great picture, great sound and great story structure.
The number of cinemas increased across the country and this translates into a boost in revenue streams. The Nollywood brand was further deepened both locally and internationally. Nigerian filmmakers are more respected globally. Some of our film festivals, awards and other related industry events are beginning to rise above fifty percent albeit still far from meeting international standards.”
Noting that the industry lost a lot of its vibrant practitioners to the cold hands of death more than the previous years in 2018, the former ANCOP president said he expect the practitioners to continue to push the envelope in 2019.
“Sadly, however, we lost many colleagues in 2018, more than previous years. This is why in 2019, I expect that the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) bill should be passed into law by the National Assembly. The executive arm of government and practitioners should push vigorously for this. MOPICON will put to rest several professional conduct and welfare issues including universal insurance for practitioners.”
“I also think government should do more in the area of piracy because things seem to be getting worse,” Eyengho added.
Speaking in the same vein, notable film maker, Valentine Edochie scored the performance of the entertainment industry above average.
According to him, there was a limitation to the influx of sub standard movies in the cinema unlike last year. “I think Nollywood is on a roll. If we can keep up the momentum, 2019 will even be more amazing for filmmakers and viewers alike… But that doesn’t take away the unsavoury fact that there is still so much politicking and its not healthy for the growth of the industry, “ Edochie said.
On his own, Francis Onwochei agreed that the showbiz industry thrived in 2018.
According to him, films such as “Merry Men”, “King of Boys”, Chief Daddy made huge inroads and significant impact on the industry. The feast was recorded with live performances championed by “ Queen Moremi.”
Indeed, the year under review saw the Nigerian music scene blossom than ever before, becoming the bride of African music, with most of the country’s top musicians collaborating with the international music stars. The Nigerian originated shaku shaku is undoubtedly the biggest dance style of 2018. It’s expected that in 2019, the dance will hit the global scene. Apart from this, our local artistes made great hits that are still ruling the airwaves across the world. No doubt, 2019, will be a year of consolidation for Nigerian musicians.