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Inspiring hope through entertainment

By Ransome Mgbeahuru
07 June 2020   |   4:01 am
Entertainment is one of only a few unifying factors that bind Nigerians as a people. Sports, also a form of entertainment, is the other.

Entertainment is one of only a few unifying factors that bind Nigerians as a people. Sports, also a form of entertainment, is the other. Apart from providing the much needed succor in times of despair, entertainment has also become a worthy source of livelihood for young Nigerians who are confronted by the harsh realities of the country’s economy.

As a result, the industry has shot up in rank as one of Nigeria’s most financially promising sectors in the last few years.

An Entertainment & Media Outlook report by PwC in October 2019 projected that Nigeria’s the industry is expected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to $10.5 billion by the end of 2023. That is huge, considering how the industry has attained an enviable position in Africa without much support from the government.

The projection, the report says, is largely due to further access to internet, TV and video content for the people. But what does this mean for young people in Africa’s most populous nation?

And rightly so. There’s arguably no sector in the last decade that has catapulted young Nigerians with little to no resources to the pinnacle of society’s most influential figures than the entertainment industry. And it’s putting money, a lot of it, in their pockets, too.

This industry that continues to provide hope for millions of young people in Nigeria is gaining enormously from MultiChoice. The company, which prides itself as Africa’s biggest storyteller, is playing a huge role in the provision of groundbreaking opportunities for talented Nigerians through its dedication to promoting and distributing brilliant content across the continent.

The pay TV’s role as an important contributor to the growth of the entertainment industry is reflected in the PwC report, which states that the pay-TV company produces the highest Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) through its range of content — including sports.

A diverse and inclusive range of enthralling content available to over 20 million viewers across the continent means that the company provides talented people with a great opportunity to get seen and receive accolades for their works. Several shows, including its hit reality TV show, Big Brother Naija, have introduced and paved ways for several participants, while writers, directors, producers and actors have benefited from the company’s acquisition and distribution of their creations.

Nigerian celebrities such as Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Bisola Aiyeola, Gideon Okeke, Tobi Bakre are a handful of people who have seen their stocks rise after featuring on the pay TV’s reality TV shows, while long running TV soap opera, Tinsel, has produced superstars in the movie industry like Osas Ighodaro, Linda Ejiofor, Damilola Adegbite, Ibrahim Suleiman and more.

In recent times, in order to scale its impact on the entertainment industry, the company has also invested heavily in other reality shows such as Ultimate Love, Date My Family, Dr. Laser, Confessions and more recently, Judging Matters and the Mercy & Ike Show. The company is also behind Africa’s biggest movie award ceremony, the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA), which rewards exceptional film and TV talent behind and in front of the cameras

These success stories in the entertainment industry are ultimately inspiring a young generation who are in constant fear of overcoming the adversities they face by the virtue of their country’s flailing economy. This explains why thousands of people will jostle for a slot as one of BBNaija housemates every year and why there is a crop of young talent coming up on the scene in Nollywood.

The projection that the entertainment industry will continue to enjoy exponential growth in the years to come is enough reason for more major players to invest in the development of new talents and infrastructure, but it can pat itself on the back for a job well done thus far.

While simply sticking to its ideals and goal of being a vessel of premium entertainment in Africa, it is consequently clearing the path for success for young people in the country.

For these young people, the hope for a better life through the entertainment industry is very well worth clinging to.