The ninth edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (#NECLive9) held on Friday, April 29, 2022 at the prestigious Landmark event Centre with the theme: Sustaining the African Momentum. Apparently, this is talking about the groundbreaking achievements and geographic exploits of Nigeria and African music and allied industries across the world.
The obvious fact that African and Nigerian music in particular is now a common staple in most parts of the world, doing exploits and promoting Nigeria and Africa was graphically brought home at the one-day conference as it opened with the previous night’s Burna Boy’s electrifying performance at the Madison Square Garden in the United States of America.
Added to Burna Boy’s staggering achievements in music and entertainment, like Grammy Award Winner, Wizkid and Davido at various times and different shows had sold out the reputable 02 Arena venue, UK to the amazement of the entertainment world and the advancement of the Nigerian music and Afrobeat genre of music whose fame has continued to spread across like wildfire.
To this end, when the NEClive convener, Ayeni Adekunle mounted the podium for his welcome address, he simple retorted, “As convener of the NECLive, the biggest entertainment conference in Africa, my job has been done”
Making reference to the Burna Boy’s show screening in the background, “At the inception of the conference in 2003, we had thought, how can we build an industry of the future, bring ourselves together to learn and share. We (our music and artists) are now at places that weren’t imagined 10 – 20 years ago. We are living out that imagination today”, he said gleefully.
However, desp[ite all the attainments, platforms and stages reached, Ayeni hopes that “we realize it is not yet Uhuru” Still early days in what is possible, noted Ayeni while emphasising that AfCTA with a population of about 1.3billion people, structures should be built to further benefit Nigeria and Nigeria’s music and entertainment industry.
Delivering his keynote address, Debo Adedayo – aka Mr. Macaroni with the theme “Sorosoke Influence as a social change” noted the obvious that “entertainment invokes amazement”.
According to him Sorosoke was born out of the dissatisfaction of the Nigerian youth. “We want government and people to do better”. Hence, in addition to the amazement as primary function of entertainment, “Sorosoke” also compels it as tool for social rejuvenation or change.
Although, there is art for art or entertainment’s sake, but a functional artist uses his art form to change the society, Adedayo noted, adding that “Conscious of the power that entertainment wields, through “Sorosoke” we use our art and entertainment to intervene on that situation in the society to bring about a gradual social change”.
All of us have the collective responsibility to use our art to influence society which according to Mr. Marcaroni was the motive of “Sorosoke” which he describes as a Lingua Franca for a movement aimed at “causing a social change in the society”.
Discussing in the first panel session of the conference, Tunde Onakoya of Chess for Change, said policies should be in place in the society, as a given, for the society to work for disadvantaged children instead of the commonplace “handouts” scenario adding that “effective policies that are sustainable and impactful are needed” to ensure inclusive development.
To ensure productive intervention, Leo Da Silva, submitted that artists must be ready to pick a side to get the job of social intervention done. “Find a way to distinguish yourself. Easier to pick a side and leverage it for social change, Leo advised.
The panel holds that inclusion is not without them – the disadvantaged young population, structure must be in place to guarantee their welfare. Artists, influencers and all were urged to be responsible for the kind of future one or his kids are going to live.
As part of the NECLive9 event, the first-ever BBNaija documentary tagged “BBN: The Fame, the Fans, the Frenzy” produced by ID Africa’s the Bang Studio was presented by Dr Busola Tejumola, Executive Head of Content & West Africa Channels • MultiChoice Group, during her keynote speech.
The documentary goes behind the scenes to provide an insight into the technicality that goes into the production of the reality TV show which is the most viewed non-sporting event on the continent.
It also captures the perspectives of former housemates and how the show has impacted their lives, and how they have grown since their appearance on the show.
The documentary also provides the perspective of those in the production team and the background work that goes into the real-time and real-life coverage of the show.