In the entertainment world, the practitioners do not only entertain, but also make a living out of their art. For one to survive in the industry, the artiste, model or promoter must be ready to merge ‘show’ with ‘biz’, which produces ‘showbiz’. When he fails to merge both effectively, he is either seen as a mere entertainer or an opportunist who takes money from people. The latter could be described as a fraudster and such people do not last long in the industry, because they will always quit or forced to quit.
Someone who has chosen to be blind will write off the future of the entertainment industry in Imo State. He will simply say “I see nothing in the future of this town”. How can a blind man see?
The fact is that wrong attitude and treatment towards majority of the artistes in the state have made them singers for only burial and wedding ceremonies. Two major issues have been presented as the take-off ground for these artistes and other entertainers in the state: Love and government.
Love has been the subject of many articles, title of many songs, moral of many stories we have heard as kids and adults, yet love is one thing adults find difficult to show.
Back in the days when music was still an organized sound, great artistes made money singing about love, but today, they make money singing about money and hatred.
Is love what the town needs? Love is the only platform that can give artistes one voice, love is still the only reason why an artiste can lend an arm to raise another brother and the only reason why everyone will come together.
Meetings are held regularly, visions are born at the same frequency, but nothing has changed. Everyone finds a reason why he wants to move forward, but no one is searching for the reason why he cannot. This is no sack race, because I see people with limbs bound in chains struggling to move and telling people they are running.
The past has not been funny; it is the chain that bound the entertainers. Artistes have wronged each other while trying to be western; they have hurt people, thinking it is part of the rules of the game.
If they can embrace love, which is the key to chain that has bound them, if only they can forgive and have a fresh beginning on a clean white slate, if only they can come together as one, a lot
will change.’ARTISTES UNITED’ should be the priority project. This is a platform to start, after this, the chant will be YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE. Only love can make us walk together.
Many people believe the state government is the reason for the regression in the entertainment industry, but I disagree to a certain degree, because the current government of His Excellency Owerri Rochas Okorocha inherited the anomaly from his predecessor who will also say that he inherited the same thing and the chain goes on.
When people are not united, they can never get anything from the government, when government deals with individuals, they have not dealt with any one, because individuality exists where people do not agree.
Artistes believe that the state should have had an annual carnival that without politics and prejudice and from whatever angle it is viewed, the artistes are right. Imo State is too old to be toddler. We are old enough to be a shining light to show way to others, especially now that talents are flourishing in the state.
A renowned highlife artiste in the state told me that the idea of Imo State entertainment award or better ‘Heartland Music Award’ was myopic, stating that an award which is not earned through a national challenge will never help the artistes. I disagree with him, because even football has a lower division where trophies are still won, unknown to those who do not watch the game in that category.
Artistes also believe that the government can lead the way in this area, by being a major partner in making this vision come true.
The governor has reciprocated the gesture by adding Nkeiru Silvanus and Uche Ogbuagu to his cabinet, but the funny thing is that the duo were never based in Owerri or any part of the state.
One would wonder if they have enough knowledge to help the place they will fall back to when the governor’s tenure eventually ends. Unless they are not planning to end up in the state after the tenure just like their counterparts who worked under the former governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim.
The governor needs to hand over an entertainment industry better than what he received. He should make a public statement on who is now his SA on Entertainment. If there is none, let him appoint one to see that people in that aspect of life are well represented.
Entertainment will always be a business where money must change hands for it to be sustained, a business which a favourable environment plays big role towards the growth and a business where only serious minded individuals and group succeed.
Artistes have their role to play, by coming together with one voice, and the government should be ready to listen to this voice which played a great role during the campaign, because this is not about individuals but a group of people whom someday will bring glory to the state. We must not celebrate people when they have achieved, we can support them to achieve.