By Damian Daga
The Nigerian music industry in the category of music has been represented by artists as far back as Tunde Nightingale, Chief Osita Osadebe, Ik-Dairo, Oliver De Coque, Anyinla Omowura, Victor Uwaifo, Ebenezer Obey, Celestine Ukwu, Fela Kuti, Sunny Ade, Sikiru Ayide Barrister, Onyeka Owenu, Lijadu Sisters, Bunny Mack, Segun Bucknor, Monomono, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, Salawa Abeni, Danmaraiya Jos, Orlando Owoh, Bongos Ikwue and many others; joined later by Felix Liberty, Jide Obi, Dizzy K, Chris Okotie, Falola, Majek Fashek, Femi Kuti, Lagbaja and many others.
In Lagos, funk was a major force, with James Brown, Shalaamar, Jimmy Cliff and of recent times other genres of musicians including i.e. Naughty by Nature, Wyclef Jean, Beyonce, Lionel Richie, Cardi B, Usher, 50 Cent and many others visiting the shores of Nigeria.
In contemporary times, anchored on phenomenal advances in technology, artists no longer need labels to support, and resort to computers and inexpensive recording software to create high quality music and share and distribute over the internet to a worldwide audience at the click of a button all within the four walls of their home.
Gone is the need for recording studios, and professional musicians. The young artists today produce and publish their own work. These bring a level of freedom and independence hitherto unknown to the Nigerian artists, and are quick to adopt this technology the length and breadth of the country, hence, the unbridled explosion in the number of young Nigerian musical artists; from Tuface Idibia, D’Banj, P-Square, Paul Play Dairo, Olamide, Mr Raw, Flavour, Wiz Kid, M.I, Neato C, Wande Coal, Kiss Daniel, Terry G, Six-Foot Plus, Faze, Wande Coal, Davido, Tiwa Savage, and so many more very exciting.
The same can be said of the movie industry, with Nollywood leading the way in giant leaps and bounds, from its humble origins in Onitsha and Enugu. Having been born shortly before the digital revolution, it is now enjoying digital filming and editing technologies, and is poised to go where the Nigerian movie or cinema industry has never been before. Nollywood is reported to be a US$500-million worth movie industry. Approximately, about 1,200 films are produced annually; larger than Hollywood, and second perhaps only to Bollywood. Nigerian movies are at a pinnacle to take over the world, and have been growing steadily in Europe (Canada, England etc), America, and the Caribbean. This can be attested to by the clinching of awards by the Kunle Afolayan Directed police investigation thriller October 1 at the AMAA a couple of years ago.
The input of TV broadcasting has always been the single most effective medium in the array of entertainment in Nigeria. It reaches straight into homes, where no other medium can. Radio plays a less major role, because of its absence of images, but effective none-the-less. So to say, without TV, there would never have been no household programmes like Village Headmaster, or the reality TV programmes like the Nigerian Idol, Big Brother Naija etc.
It is worthy to note that with the advent of day-time, pioneered by Chief Dr Raymond Dokpesi TV in Nigeria, TV was taken to another level. African Independent Television, also Africa’s first satellite TV station established the first TV station to run 24 hour broadcasting in Nigeria. This was a monumental step in broadcasting, and favoured the entertainment industry no end. In its wake are other 24 hour TV stations such as Channels, TVC News, Arise TV, etc.
By and large, Nigeria’s indigenous fashion industry has gained from all of these. Fashion in Nigeria is a combination of ethnic, European, and American styles. Nigerians have never been slaves to fashion, although they follow current trends, and are trend setters themselves. From the days of bell-bottoms to Gatsby trousers to the current trends among youths adopting the American hip-hop style of fashion. Suffice to state that Nigerians are individualistic in their approach. The Yoruba’s for example, adhere to the traditional style of Asoebi, whereby everyone or families wear the same material design (almost like a uniform) at celebrations, or occasions symbolizing unity. Fashion business in Nigeria is a multi-billion Naira industry. Fashion and social magazines record social events, show casing pictures of various fashion designs and are very influential
Nightlife in Nigeria too has been more pronounced in contemporary times compared to the tempo in 1960, although Lagos and Abuja top the chart, other state capitals such as Makurdi in Benue State are fast catching up. Varieties of hotels ranging from three stars to five star hotels, night clubs and wine bars abound in these cities and these spots are enclave for several entertainment gigs.
Conservatively, the entertainment industry in Nigeria after 60 years has made a commendable leap and unlike the general economic status of the country, it is growing in leaps and bounds.
By Damian Daga