For a better Nigeria, radio drama, Atlantic city births
In the early days of broadcasting in Nigeria, radio drama was very popular among the low income earners, especially in the 60s, when the western region came with its TV arm, Western Nigeria Broadcasting Cooperation (WNBC) and the radio, which was Western Nigeria Broadcasting Station (WNBS). Then, very few people were privileged to own television sets, so, majority got hooked on radio. But since the emergence of Nollywood and other means of entertainment, radio drama got missing in the mix and people hardly sought its assistance for relaxation. Recently, a media cum film outfit, the Content Factory Ltd., decided to bring back the glory days of radio drama through a story set on Atlantic City — currently being built in Lagos. The story, which is about 10 years ahead of its time, is produced by Mrs. Tare Taylor and sponsored by Lagos Internal Revenue Services (LIRS). It takes a look at political manoeuvres, intrigues and manipulations in the city. The drama depicts what is going on in Nigeria. Taylor throws more light on the work in this interview.
So, who is Tare Taylor?
She is a producer and director of Content Factory Ltd., a firm involved in the production of content for radio, television and the film industry. We also package media works for corporate organisations.
What is responsible for this concept, which you said, has aired in cities of Nigeria and even London?
As we all know, the political situation in the country affects everybody. Nigeria is not a hundred per cent perfect. Though you can hardly get anything right at hundred percent, we believe it can be better. It is to bring home these points for a greater tomorrow for Nigerians that this concept came to existence.
Why go through Atlantic City?
The city is a futuristic one, just as the new and better Nigeria is still in the future. The city, which is supposed to be on the same platform with major cities of the world, is planned to have 24 hours public light service, good road network that won’t break and a high security network with other vital public utilities working perfectly. This is the Atlantic City currently being built in Lagos. It is the vision that the writers of this drama have in mind for Nigeria and Nigerians in five to 10 years to come.
At what point were you able to get assistance on this novel project that is now a reality?
Companies we approached, so to say, did not easily embrace radio drama being an old fashion thing, but as it turned out, Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) bought the idea. Equally too Cool FM and Nigerians info.com came up as our media partners.
From 2017, when you said the project kicked off, what has been the challenge and plan to overcome them?
Through our broadcast media partners, based in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, we have being airing the episodes produced so far. However, we look forward to more radio stations for wider broadcast to the nation. Again, we look forward to better production techniques that will enable anyone with a smart phone download or directly listen to the programme as it is on air. We want as many Nigerian as possible to know that we can build a better nation. We want them to know that going into politics should not be about what I want to get from it only, but the services i can give to my country.
You aired this drama at the Bethseda School for the Blind in Lagos recently, what is the motive behind this?
I strongly believe that there is ability in disability. Those in the school for the visually impaired have only lost one function of their body part but other are still intact their brain in particular. It is good thinking that brings changes through actions. Corruption is a product of poor thought, not lack of education.
Airing the drama for the visually impaired is to enable them to think properly, therefore, have a better understanding of their future. It is blind policy that stagnate progress in a nation not blind people.
Who are the artists that feature in the drama?
Celebrated actors like Femi Jacobs, Olu Jacobs, Dakore Egbuson-Akande Michelle Dede, Adeolu Adefarasin and Oludara Egerton Shyngle give commanding vocal performance. It also features Toni Tones, Patrick Oke Jr., Lolo Eremie Deyemi Okanlawon and others.