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Stakeholders explore why Southeast entertainment industry collapsed



A lack of institutional capacities, over-reliance on government, among others, have been identified by stakeholders as factors responsible for the absence of growth and sustenance of the entertainment industry in the southeast region.

According to them, while the media and entertainment industry have continued to survive and grow in other zones of the country, the southeast has lagged behind because players in the sector have not entrenched policies for their sustenance.

During a Media and Entertainment Conference held in Enugu, a broadcast trainer, Mr. Jika Atoo, lamented that there was a dearth of institutions that could impact on the skills of movies and music producers, stressing that it was responsible for lack of growth in the sector in the zone.

He said, “The challenge is that sometimes we sit back and watch government do everything. For media to grow, for movies and music industry to grow, players in the industry must come together to chart the path. If you look at what government went into before now, like the industries, they have all collapsed in the zone. If government gets involved in entertainment — music and movies — be assured that it will also go moribund.

“We are looking at the future, and to look at this, you must know the present and the present must shape the future. The people in the music industry like: Goddy Oku, Semi-Colons, Sir Warrior, Jide Obi, Chris Okotie and those who made music when it did not have digital format, where are they and what made them tick at a time?” he queried.

According to Atoo: “Their contemporaries in America, we still play their music. So, how come we don’t play the music of such people in our area? What happened? We don’t have institutions that support the growth of the media and entertainment. We need veritable institutions, and institutional capacities need to be developed so as to transfer such to the coming generation. The music of Osita Osadebe should not die with the man; the music of Oliver De Coque should not die with him.”

While welcoming the participants, the convener, Ohins Kelvin, said the event was organised following the near-absence of the zone in media, music and movies. He stated that though the players in the zone had done much to promote the entertainment industry, they had made no appreciable presence in the zone as they fizzled out the moment they were no more.

“The southeast has been a bit left behind in this and I think one of the reasons is that we have not taken responsibility for the positioning of the southeast media and entertainment. The information we get is from the Lagos media but if we are able to project the southeast from our own perspective, it helps us.

“We intend to achieve positive change, make people see this region in terms of entertainment industry, I intend to have more shows in Enugu, I intend to have more artists in Enugu, platforms for upcoming, project tourism in the southeast,” he stated.

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