A move to forge unity of West and East Africa has been initiated by the government of Tanzania and the management of Atunda Entertainment, a Nigerian owned theatre and movie production outfit.
Tagged West/East Amalgamation through arts, culture, entertainment and tourism, it is geared at bridging the existing gap between countries of the west and east regions.
The new project, which would be devoted to the production of movies and musicals by both Nigerian and Tanzanian’s artistes collaboration, was disclosed by the Tanzania High Commissioner to Nigeria, Daniel O. Njoolay and the President of Atunda Entertainment, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the scheme will kick off in August at La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort in Ikegun Village, Lekki, Lagos, with the selected artistes and crew coming together to create and produce a movie script and post production within two weeks.
The third week, the entire crew would move over to Tanzania for the premiere of the movie that would be attended by government officials, business moguls and other personalities and the general public from both countries.
The premiere would feature musical performances by musical artistes from both countries as well, which would be recorded and commercially produced.
Thereafter a second movie would be shot and produced in Tanzania, which would be premiered in Nigeria and would feature musical performance.
Njoolay, who took time to give historic account of the project’s conceptualisation and benefits to creative and youths of each country, pointed out that motion picture in Tanzania lacked the necessary skills and expertise.
As Nigeria ranked among major movie makers in the world, the High Commissioner said the partnership will benefit his country in the area of artistic and creative technological transfer.
According to him, Tanzanian government through the Ministry of Culture is fully involved in the project and would be committing funds to it.
In his word: “Our movie stars still lack the skill. It will be a form of artistic technological transfer when we bring artistes to come and perform jointly with experienced Nigerian artistes.
“We have reached a good point and everything is moving on fast. Everything begins on August 1. Njoolay also harped on the tourism benefits of the project, as it is expected to boost the tourism potential of both countries. To show how serious the country is with the project, he said that the Director, Tanzania Film Board, Joyce Fisoo, has already been to Nigeria to meet with Akinboboye.
In his remark, Akinboboye expressed the need to diversify the economy, especially that of Nigeria which has relied solely on oil. “The need to diversify the economy is over flogged. It is long overdue. In diversification, you have to appraise your strength and opportunities. Our strength is our creativity. We are number one in Africa in movie and music. But how much value has it added to us and how much value has it added to the continent? Artistic endeavours are the best way to foster Africa’s unity. Let us go to East Africa to help brothers develop their movie industry.’’
Akinboboye wondered why many Nigerians are ignorant of the tourism potentials of Tanzania. “I believe strongly that if Tanzania can be number two in the world, the project can only explore and enhance both nations’ tourism industries. Let us go to East Africa and develop their movie industry,” Akinboboye said. Njoolay revealed that the maiden film to be shot in Tanzania will be named: ‘My Pride’ and it will be a one and half hours production.
“With effort like this definitely Africa will be rising.”