Although 2013 is still on, would you rate the eleven months that have almost gone as great for Imo State in the area of entertainment?
For an upcoming artiste who probably dropped two singles this year with couple of air play, he would say it has been a great year, but for those who are waiting on the Lord for a label to look their way, it has been like other years.
For a young girl and another young man who were probably known by their friends alone, but now walks into the Government House as Ada and Opara Imo, it has been a great year, but for others who never saw that gate because the governor that knew them is now residing somewhere in Abuja, God is supposed to reverse the year.
I once told the tale of a growing city in the area of entertainment; I unveiled our strengths and weakness, yet skipping the heart of it.
In 2013, the rain fell for the good, the bad and the ugly. While it filled the cups and drums of some who lacked water, it washed away the tears of others and also pulled off the roofs of some others.
Simply say 2013 was fair and unfair.
Before 2013, and in some parts of 2013, there was an office called Bureau for Entertainment in Imo State, ran by comedian Uche Ogbuagu who was allegedly reffered to as the Special Assistant to the Imo State governor on Entertainment and Propaganda; an office which never existed since the government of Rochas Okorocha took over in 2011.
Uche Ogbuagu claimed to be the highest authority in Imo State entertainment or better say in Imo State entertainment politics. Many criticized his actions on granting approval to most major events in the state while his power clashed with the likes Buchi George and Emma Duru.
The duo, Buchi George and Emma Duru ran their entertainment empires as well, and they would never agree with Mr Ogbuagu for any reason. This unhealthy competition for supremacy paralyzed so many activities in the state and because of it, some events were never approved.
In my opinion, if he was ever appointed as an adviser to the governor, it is either he never got close to the governor or he never offered any advice to the governor because his tenure brought not even a single change to the entertainers on the streets aside fellow praise singers in the government house.
I am still surprised that with the so called entertainment gurus our governor has in the government house, the only entertainment event the state government could organize in a whole year was the so called Ada and Opara Imo, a pageant most considered as ‘the normal government thing’.
Rivers and Cross Rivers States disturb my ears with news and jingles of their state carnival and I am yet to hear such in a state that is considered as the hub of entertainment in South East; while Buchi George might still hold out his hands for the N34m the state is owing him for organizing Imo State Carnival in 2011, nothing has been said about the 2013 edition.
Governor Okorocha might think he is the King Solomon of Imo State by not finding a single entertainer based in the state fit for any appointment as well as making the office Special Adviser on Entertainment a history, but soon the bell will ring and the Douglas House will be calling for praise singers who will compose her 2015 anthem.
We will all be watching.
Bringing in people who just parade the government house and leave when their appointments are terminated might be ideal in his style, but he should remember this simple saying “Na who wear shoe, know where e de pain am”. Failure to support entertainers whose numbers are growing daily in their various genres will surely cost him or anyone that would be running in his stead come 2015. To the best of my knowledge based on the political awareness in the state, any last minute change will be seen as mere ‘politricking’. Money will be spent but no vote will be cast in his direction.
Before 2013, I never heard of PMAN until a certain day, the name resurrected from nowhere, revealing what many never knew.
PMAN had been in existence in the state, and just like a student that failed a course in the university, they carried-over the problems at the national level to the state, having two factions that will never agree.
While one faction was having meetings with grassroot artistes; promising these voiceless artistes things that would change their lives when actualized, the other faction was holding award night, honouring politicians and their likes for achievement that are best known to them.
What is the meaning of PMAN? Performing Musician Employee Association of Nigeria. Maybe the employee justifies why those running the affairs of the association are artistes who were last seen on stage more than a decade ago.
This is just like a father heading a youth association, I must say that PMAN has been a shame in the state and anyone parading himself as the leader of the association should ask himself what he has achieved for artistes in the state and not just the few followers that accompany him to courtesy calls.
Has PMAN given the artiste on the street a single hope? None hope that I know about.
Have the leaders of PMAN enriched themselves?
Yet their sufferings will not be taken for granted.
These days, artistes have no one to look up to, no role model and everyone is scattered like power blown in the wind.
Imo Sate is one place people with zero IQ in entertainment run the affairs in what will determine the future of many youths in the state.
Being 50 years does not mean one knows it all; wisdom comes with experience and not with age.
For those in the media who have cared less about the ‘locals’, you need to think again. We prefer to promote made men, who do not need promotions, sending indigenous entertainers to the trash cans.
All you need to do is visit a burial ceremony by the Anglican Church, listen to that popular hymn that says you’ll be remembered by only the things you have done.
This is one reason many people still call the late Hot 99.5 FM presenter, Raymond Ayuba a legend. He believed in talent and lived by that code and today, his efforts have brought many to limelight.
DJs will have their own strokes to receive aside few that will make the roll call. I listened to an Enugu State based DJ playing in a wedding ceremony in community and he never played a song by any other artistes aside those from Enugu State. Which DJ can brag of playing 20% of songs that are made here in Imo State? Again, only a few will make the roll call. These songs will never be played, yet when an artiste pays a DJ in the state it will never be an artiste from Port Harcourt, but those from the state. Why take money and not render the services?
Dear artiste and producer, you are busy calling these other people names for not looking into your matter, what have you done for yourself? Your best discussions are criticisms, back-biting and looking for a way to pull the other person down. You’ll never accept that a colleague has moved to the next level, so you make his fans to still see him as that ordinary guy.
Remember thus, a child who says his father is crazy should ask his biology teacher for the list of hereditary traits in man. Helping someone up the ladder will never be a stupid thing to do, unless we wish to be busy playing ‘game of throne’, and it will never helps anyone.
The government, her agents and leaders of these associations that decide the fate of entertainers should stop seeing entertainment as something that is more of side attraction, but understand that the future of many young Imolites are being toiled with.
They love to shake hands with achievers whom they have contributed nothing to their success, they would love to splash lands, cars and scholarship to make the world see them as angels, but I know that one day a courageous winner will emerge and when he will be called to this lips service reception, he will openly reject it and tell them he has no reason to celebrate with people who never cared about his days of struggle but only wants to identify with his success.
More should be invested in making heroes, instead of splashing much more in the celebration of these self made heroes.
Imo entertainment industry can never be that better if we keep enriching outsiders calling our people local entertainers. The musicians, models, comedians, and those in the movie world need to given attention; we all need to work it out together next year.