2019: Key players, events that defined entertainment
The biggest exponent in the Nigerian entertainment scene at the moment is music. Year-in-year out the music industry has become a force to be reckoned with. So many artistes wrote their names in the minds of Nigerians and the world over with a remarkable showcase, both in music delivery, and the level of music being churned out on a daily basis.
One of the biggest artistes for the year was Burna Boy, he topped off a stellar music year with a Grammy nomination and cemented his place as this year’s breakaway music star. No doubt, the year ending has been a standout year for Burna Boy, who has won a string of awards and sold out venues across the globe. His 19-tracked album, ‘African Giant,’ was nominated alongside music heavyweights including Angelique Kidjo and Altin Gun. He follows in the footsteps of Femi and Seun Kuti, King Sunny Ade and other Nigerian music stars who have received Grammy Awards nominations.
The 13th edition of the Headies Awards held at the Eko Convention Centre inside the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, came with thrilling and breathtaking showcase by music stars such as Teni, Burna Boy, Falz lead award winners. Hosted by popular rapper Reminisce and actress, and TV personality Nancy Isime, guests had memorable moment.
Artiste, Teni led the pack of winners, picking up four awards for Best Pop Single for Case, Best Vocal Performance (Female), Recording of the Year for Uyo Meyo, as well as Headies’ Viewer’s Choice. Again, Burna Boy picked up the golden statues for Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year for “YE”, and Best collaboration for “Killin’ Dem” with Zlatan.
Falz snagged awards for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album for ‘Moral Instruction’, while “Talk” won the award for Best Rap Single. DMW singer Mayorkun was the only other multiple winner on the night, picking up awards for Revelation of the Year and Best R&B, and Pop album for ‘The Mayor of Lagos’.
Meanwhile, Mavin wunderkind Rema picked up the highly coveted Next Rated award, winning the GS4 unit from GAC motors attached to the winner of the category. Another show that was on the lips of Nigerians, and in Diaspora is the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), it was a night of glitz at the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The show attracted artistes such as Sauti Sol (Kenya), Amiinux (Morocco), Stonebwoy (Ghana) and Kanvee Adams (Liberia), Awilo Logomnba and Ferre Gola, Nadia Nakai, Tellaman and Master KG, among many others. Over, 29 artistes performed at what many describe as the biggest night of music in the continent, which equally enthroned some of the creatives, as the very best across musical genres. The sector received a major boast when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed raised the hope of many in the Nigeria entertainment sector, when he disclosed that the Federal Government will remove all impediments to the growth of the creative industry. “As we head into 2020, the successful commercialization of the creative industry is our number one priority.
It will create jobs, reduce crime, be a major source of foreign exchange and thereby reduce our dependence on oil, rebrand our country internationally and boost the Gross domestic Product (GDP),” he said.
He added that government is providing the necessary framework through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to ensure that music consumers pay.
Livespot X Festival was the show that Lagosians enjoyed. All the way from America, rapper and media personality, Cardi B, flew into the country with excitement written all over her. She performed at a large gathering. It is one of the shows that proved that Nigerians have the attitude, and appreciation when it comes to shows. The invited artiste delivered to her promise and lived up to the hype and buzz that heralded the show. Cardi B made a name for herself not only as a rapper but as an exotic dancer who teases the wild imaginations of her fans. She had a lovely time with the guests while the show lasted.
Buoyant film industry
The Nigeria film industry has become a global entertainment brand, drawing many to the huge potentials of the country. Dubbed the world’s second most prolific after India’s Bollywood, producing hundreds of films and TV episodes each month. For years the film industry churn out visual pulp fiction destined for the market. Just as the film market gathers momentum film crew shoot with better cameras. In its infancy in the 1990s, Nollywood churned out cheap films ranging from bawdy comedies to morality tales about witchcraft and infidelity.
Low on production quality but high on entertainment value, these movies quickly garnered a fanatical following across Africa and its diaspora. The quality of most of the movies is still a distance from those of the latter. The movies tell the African stories and entertained Africans and black people around the world. Nollywood is watched in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean with increase in international co-productions and it is now a subject of intellectual discourse and doctoral theses in some of the best institutions in the world.
The cinemas has become a beehive of activities on a daily basis; Nigerian movies have topped the chart inspite of the presence of foreign blockbusters. The box office kings are Merry Men (N230 million), King of Boys (N100 million), The Ghost and the Tout (N80 million), Moms at War (N65 million) and Royal Hibiscus Hotel (N59 million). The year recorded lots of more movies watched in cinemas across the country; Living in Bondage: Breaking Free is a 2019 Nigerian drama thriller film produced by Charles Okpaleke and directed by Ramsey Nouah in his directorial debut.
The movie is the sequel to the 1992 classic Living in Bondage, and stars Kenneth Okonkwo, with Swanky JKA in his breakout role, and director Nouah as the main villain. The Box office is in the rate of 149.6 million.
Another movie that graced the cinema is, Bling Lagosians, a 2019 Nigerian drama film, written by Anthony Kehinde Joseph and directed and co-produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters. The movie was premiered on June 16, 2019 in Lagos. The movies centres around the Holloways, a wealthy Lagos family and their mother Mopelola, who is about to celebrate her 51st birthday party.
There are individual feuds and fights between family members. Their father Akin takes steps to prevent the foreclosure of the family’s business by the Asset Management Corporation. Starring Demidun played by Osas Ighodaro Ajibade; Tokunbo played by Sharon Ooja; George played by Jimmy Odukoya; Akin Holloway played by Gbenga Titilayo; Mopelola Holloway played by Elvina Ibru; Nnamdi Agu played by Alexx Ekubo; Baba Eko played by Jide Kosoko, among others. The movie net 120 million. Love Is War is another 2019 Nigerian comedy-drama film directed by Omoni Oboli and written by Chinaza Onuzo.
The movie which stars Nollywood stars, Oboli, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Jide Kosoko, Akin Lewis, Bimbo Manuel, Toke Makinwa, Shaffy Bello, Femi Branch, Uzo Osimkpa, Yemi Blaq, Damilare Kuku and William Benson is produced by Inkblot Productions and Dioni Visions, Love Is War is the second collaboration between the two production companies following 2018’s Moms at War.
The film is centered around a married couple who run against each other for governor in the same state. With the array of movies hitting the cinemas, the year indeed recorded lots of growth in film production, but more can be done in respect of grant to enable filmmaker have an easy ride.