Entertainment

PAT UTOMI, EMEKA MBA, 2FACE IDIBIA, TONY OKOROJI, OMOTOLA JALADE EKEINDE, LAGBAJA, OTHERS SPEAK AT NEC 2014.

As Thousands Gather For 2nd Edition Nigerian Entertainment Conference.

The second edition of the much talked about Nigerian Entertainment

Conference was one of the most successful conferences to hold this

year.

The event took place on Wednesday, April 26, 2014 at the Grand

Ballroom of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, with a large

number of top personalities, celebrities, media moguls and

entrepreneurs, managers, artistes as well as a huge number of

entertainment industry participants in attendance, to discuss one

common goal – how to move the entertainment industry forward.

Hosted by comedian and TV show host Tee A, the conference featured six

different sessions – Media, Business, Music, IT (Info Technology),

Social Responsibility and Nollywood. Four of the six sessions were

preceded by keynote speeches delivered by Prof Pat Utomi (Business),

2face Idibia (Music), Social Responsibility (Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde)

and Nollywood (Emeka Mba).

Accompanied by different moderators, each session included a

discussion, which featured a group of panellists discussing different

topics closely associated with Entertainment in Nigeria.

Panellists included comedian Basketmouth, Storm 360 Chairman, Obi

Asika, Jobberman co-founder Ope Awoyemi, pop artiste, Dr SID, renowned

writer Toni Kan, Chairman of COSON Tony Okoroji, Storm 360 co-founder

and E.D, Olisa Adibua, actor Ramsey Nouah and founder of theAfrican

Movie Academy Awards Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, among many others.

Over 1200 people registered on the website, www.nec.ng, compared to

last year’s 321 registrants, and over a thousand people attended the

conference.

‘This conference is great. It makes you feel more concerned. Talking

is a good thing, and I’m happy we are talking. Positive things come

out of the talking and this is an avenue for that and more’, said the

CEO of Nigezie, Femi ‘Kwame’ Aderibigbe, a panellist in the media

session.

The conference, popularly known as NECLive kicked off with a welcome

speech by Editor-In-Chief of NET Newspaper, the Chairman and Executive

Producer of the conference Ayeni Adekunle. In his speech, Ayeni talked

about the entertainment industry’s many shortcomings, despite the

perception of its’ progress.

‘Today should be indeed a happy day. But it’s not. I feel pain because

I know that there’s so much work to be done. And we’re not even

scratching the surface’, he said in his opening remarks.

‘How can we get the best from the system if the industry is not well

structured and funded?’ he asked.

NECLive 2014 highlighted a number of problems plaguing the

entertainment industry, including Distribution, Piracy, Content

Ownership, Collective Rights and Royalty, Absence of Infrastructure

and Social Responsibility.

The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Creating Pathways to the

Future’ and as explained by NET Editorial board Chairman Chris

Ihidero, ‘The future is changing rapidly, such that whatever we know

at present pales into insignificance at an alarming rate’.

‘All over the world, rapid manifestations are occurring in the

production and distribution of entertainment while we are still

largely playing catch up with out-dated platforms. If we were behind

by a few decades before, we may be moving behind by perhaps half a

century if we do not properly chart pathways to the future of the

Nigerian entertainment industry’, Ihidero explained.

Prof Pat Utomi who delivered his speech on ‘Solving the Distribution

Problem Once and For All’ stressed the importance of those involved in

providing entertainment on radio, television, film and theatre to

treat their work as importantly as any other business in order for it

to thrive.’

‘Show business has to be treated like business. And because you love

it, you need to learn how to apply things that people have learned

from enterprise’, Utomi explained. The Professor also shared solutions

to the issue of poor distribution.

‘Our idea was to set up an alternative distribution structure that

will better serve the interest of both content owners and consumers so

we set up Exodus Entertainment with the sole aim of effectively

distributing Nigeria entertainment products (CD, DVD and Magazine) to

all of Nigeria’, he said.

Meanwhile, African Pop Icon, 2face Idibia who was also one of the

speakers, delivered a speech on ‘Slaying the Collective Rights

Monster’ stating that one of the major problems is an issue of

ignorance or rather, a lack of understanding of the subject. ‘Artists

and music executives/ administrators have to take time out to learn

about the ins and outs of the subject so as to understand what they

are getting into.’

He also said there should be only one CMO (collective management

organization) for a developing nation like Nigeria. ‘How has having

multiple CMOs impacted the subject of royalties and the owners of the

rights in Nigeria? One thing is for sure, having more than one CMO

operating within the industry has not helped further our cause as

rights owners because, being a developing nation, everyone is busy

looking out for their own interests’.

In her speech ushering in the ‘Social Responsibility’ session, Omotola

Jalade-Ekeinde, who spoke on ‘Why We Should Care’ raised two major

points in her presentation – education and leadership.

The Nollywood actress said that although success is not compulsorily

tied to education, it is advisable to be educated.

‘There are many layers to being famous or being a celebrity and

Education prepares us for these layers so we can reach our full

potential and be trusted with more responsibilities. Social

responsibility as you can guess is a lot of responsibility and

expression. You might as some point be required to speak to different

types of group of people as I am doing right now … Simply put,

Talent will Never be Enough.

The TIME 100 Icon also pleaded with her colleagues to use their

influence the right way. ‘We have been sleeping giants for too long.

Let’s wake up and lead by example Entertainers! In a continent with

some of the strongest, most recognizable and loved entertainers, we

can change things’.

The fourth speaker and final speaker of the day Emeka Mba delivered

his speech ‘Building a Sustainable Film Industry.’ Mba, the current

Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said it

was important to recognize that the old order in Nollywood is

changing.

‘Those who choose to maintain the status quo will find themselves on

the wrong side of history and I dare say on the short end of the money

stick’, Mba said.

He also advised practitioners to be curious rather than critical. ‘Ask

questions that provoke reflection and further inquiry. Do not create a

fortress mentality. Ideas don’t work unless you speak up.’

Just like the inaugural edition, the conference ended with the NET

Honours. Honorary awards were given to 18 individuals including

musicians Ebenezer Obey, Onyeka Onwenu, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, Sunny

Okosun, Daddy Showkey, OJB Jezreel, actors Jide Kosoko, Adebayo

Salami, media businessmen Smooth Promotions CEO Ayo Animashaun, Cool

FM founder Amin Mosaalli, Tajuddeen Adepetu and others.

Other notable faces at the conference include Makin Soyinka, Yomi

Badejo Okusanya, Efe Omorogbe, Akin Oyebode, Dayo Adeneye, Sean

Tizzle, Toke Makinwa, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, DammyKrane, Oscar and

Titi Oyinsan, Lara George, Steve Babaeko, Tosyn Bucknor, Bayo Omisore,

Yaw, Lamide Akintobi among others.

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