Nigerian professionals have expressed confidence in the nation’s entertainment industry as a major revenue earner, noting that if well harnessed, it is capable of resolving the nation’s economic crisis.
The experts, who stated this in Lagos, at a public lecture Ariya Repete organised by Goldberg Beer, a lager brand in the Nigerian Breweries Plc stable, to discuss the history of Juju and Fuji music in Nigeria, argued that in spite of its immense potential of energising the nation’s economy, lack of structure and inefficient regulations had continued to retard the economic growth of the industry.
Tracing the origin of Fuji and Juju music in Nigeria, in his keynote address, delivered at the event, former Director General for Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Professor Tunde Babawale, described the two genres of music as typifying the rich cultural heritage of the Yorubas of the South West.
He added that besides being culture symbols, Juju and Fuji had also gone a long way in easing tension and enhancing the commerce of the people of the region.
“For instance, people drink at parties where these genres of music are played. Some are there to sell other edibles, and at the end of the day, it is obvious that the economies of the people in such communities are enhanced during those periods.
“Besides, the Nigerian entertainment industry has the capacity to employ more Nigerians, even more than what we are currently experiencing. It could serve as the necessary elixir, if well explored,” he argued.
In his contribution, a frontline face in the nation’s Nollywood industry, Mr Damola Olatunji calls for stricter regulation of the nation’s entertainment industry to enable it achieve its full economic potential.
He lamented a situation where quacks and other non-professionals were contracted to take up roles meant for thoroughbred professionals, noting that such actions had contributed in no small measure in stifling the growth of the industry.
Speaking on the rationale behind the lecture, the company’s Corporate Affairs Adviser, Mr Kufre Ekanem, explained that the decision to organise the Ariya Repete Lecture/initiative was borne out of the company’s commitment to identifying with the culture and tradition of its operating environments.