On the 20th of July 2012, TFonly.com, a show promoting firm made history in organizing the first edition of Artistes’ Night in Owerri, Imo State. The event has something similar to the one that holds in Lagos known as Industry Night where artistes in the said location gather to perform.
The man behind the whole event is Mr Austine Uzor, CEO of TFonly.com. CHINEDU HARDY NWADIKE talked with him after the event which had more than 85% of artistes and producers in Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe present at De Signature Lounge.
The Ahiazu Mbaise-born show promoter who was all smiles throughout the event did not hide anything in his plans to continue the event as well as what he intends to achieve with it.
To be honest, I’ve been dreaming to do this since year 2000. As someone who grew up in London, I see artistes perform and realize all of them come from Lagos, Port Harcourt and other cities and I keep wondering what is happening in my own state. So I said to myself that I will be doing this to help artistes here and we have just started.
This will be happening every Thursday, and what we are planning to do is to move it from one venue to another. The change in venue is for people to know the artistes facially as well as their songs.
Your feelings today?
I feel fulfilled and I am very happy the way things had gone today. I never knew it could work out to this level and thank God it was a success. The crowd, the performances and everything that happened here is inspiring me to do more and that is the spirit that I’ve always wanted in this town.
Why De Signature Lounge?
As you can see they have a good environment, space both inside and outside as well good sound system, DJ and every facility needed to kick off the event. It won’t always be here, we will be moving the event after four weeks. This means that each venue can only host four consecutive editions of the event, while we move it to another venue. This is to allow the host to gain well from the programme, since the event is also a promotional package for any venue we have chosen.
This is a platform for the artistes to come together. Through this, they’ll have quality and will be able to get money from anyone who wants to hire them. Our dream is to make stars in Imo State.
It is a website designed to bring entertainers under one roof. There we have music, fashion, movie, comedy, current affairs and hospitality. We want to start telling people what we have in Imo State. We are here to open the eyes of Imolites to know we can export the good things we have here in the state.
Is this project not exploiting artistes?
Everybody likes money, but at TFonly.com we want the artistes to make money before we can make money. These artistes are products we would love to invest on and when they start selling, we will get our returns.
How will TFonly.com gain?
We will gain through the commissions we get from the artistes when they go for shows. We will help these artistes by sending them to shows within and outside the country, and for any show they attend, TFonly.com will definitely have a percentage, but that will be later when we must have projected the artistes to that level that will earn those shows.
We seek partners who are willing to sponsor the event in any way. We are actually looking for people who share the same vision with us, people who believe in the project.
Are your partners going to gain in the future like you?
No. Our partners make instant profit. Just like the De Signature Lounge, it is publicity for them and of course you know what has been sold with the number of people here today. That is how we want it to be. Anyone who partners with us makes instant profit.
Is government helping?
Not yet, we want to show everyone what we can do before we let people like government to come into the project. This is just the first edition and it will keep running until we get to that stage.
To artistes that missed this edition
I must say that they really missed a lot because this is one big thing in the making. We still have the next edition on Thursday at the same venue and we hope to make it as interesting as it could be. We want all of them to work with one mind in this project and surely we will get there.