Akan Eyo

The 2016 Abuja Entertainment Seminar was in many ways better than the previous edition and the efforts of 41 Naija Entertainment to bring together industry stakeholders, policy makers, practitioners, professionals from private and public sector in an attempt to help build a unifying structure, support growing talents and open more opportunities for investment in the entertainment industry in the Federal Capital Territory was applauded by participants.

Held at the Sandralia Hotel Abuja, it lived up to its billing. There was much pre-event hype over the annual event and entertainment stakeholders, practitioners and lovers left the venue of the event with smiles as it proved to be worth their time and wait.
The annual event which is organised by 41 Naija Entertainment brought together entertainment practitioners and stakeholders who discussed ways through which investing in local content and entertainment could grow the economy in light of the recent challenges facing the Nigerian economy.

Top personalities and celebrities in Abuja entertainment circle and beyond such as Tee Y Mix, Terry Tha Rapman, GospelOnDeBeatz, Bigmo (Wazobia FM), Tunde (Styl Plus), Modenine, Morell, Paul Play, Shortcut, Chuks D General, Mr. Collins Adeyemi (former PMAN Governor, Abuja Chapter), Dominic (Barcity TV), Candelbeats and many more graced the event.
Officials from top government organisations such as the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) were also present.

There were a total of four speakers at the seminar. Paul Alaje, a Business Consultant spoke on the topic “The creative industry and the economy.” Mr. Okoh Aihe, Deputy Director, Online Media Publications (NCC), who represented the Director of Public Affairs, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Tony Ojobo, spoke on “ICT and entertainment: the drive to a sustainable economy.”

In his speech, Mr. Okoh stressed the need for entertainers to create meaningful content and the importance of the ICT in promoting frontiers of entertainment. President of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists, Prof. S.E. Ododo, spoke on “The place of arts and entertainment.” Renowned music producer, Tee Y Mix who was also an invited speaker treated the topic “Building a brand with your craft.” In his speech, he stated the importance of branding and the need for entertainers to be unique and original with their craft.

In the first panel discussion, Mrs. Franca Aiyetan of the NBC, Andy Madaki, Mode 9, Paul Play and Belema Meshack Hart (CEO Tatafonaija), Burnertunes were panellists and deliberated on the topics “Creating Content for a Target Audience and “The Social Media and Showbiz.” In between the panel discussion, Paul Play made an honourable move as he reminded the audience of the recent passing away of legendary music producer OJB Jezreel and requested a minute silence in his honour, which was observed by everyone in the hall.

Blessing Tangban, Rex Idaminabo, Ustaz Pharouk, Terry the Rap Man treated the topic “Branding” in the second panel discussion of the seminar. The third and last panel session titled “The Power of Collaboration” was handled by Taiwo Olukorode, Godwin Adogame, Timi Elegbede and Bamike Olawunmi.

Oge Kimono who was the sole moderator at the first edition of the Abuja Entertainment Seminar, was also saddled with the same responsibility at this year’s edition. She moderated all the sessions of the seminar and quizzed the panellists with brilliant questions which demanded their spontaneity, intelligence and experience.
There were entertainment breaks in between sessions and star artist Morell and ace comedian Shortcut were the only performers to climb the stage. While Morell got the audience on their feet singing his popular songs, Shortcut ensured their ribs were cracked as he churned out new materials.

Seminar Director of the Abuja Entertainment Seminar, Mr. Victor Chase, gave the vote of thanks in which he thanked all those in attendance who saw the importance to attend despite their busy schedules.

Guests reconvened in the evening for an exclusive dinner. The audience was treated to music from Alternate Sounds; a live band which comprised of popular music producer Gospelondebeatz (You don’t know him? Listen to Davido’s “All of you”, in Davido’s voice “Gospelondebeatz… badder man).

Like the seminar, the dinner was well attended by top personalities from the entertainment and government circle such as Tee Y Mix, Terry Tha Rapman, Gospelondebeatz, Bigmo (Wazobia FM), Tunde (Styl Plus), Modenine, Succy Blue, Mr. Collins Adeyemi, Prof. Sunnie Ododo, Jamix, representatives from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and a host of others.

The Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed was ably represented by Deputy Director, Special Duties, Entertainment and Creative Services Department, Mrs. Akudo-Nwosu U.N and other members of staff of the Ministry of Information and Culture.
Mrs. Nwosu was called upon to give a speech and she commended the efforts of the organisers of the seminar. She also encouraged more of such events, according to her, it was part of the mandate of the Minister for Information.

The major highlight of the evening was the award presentations. While receiving his award in recognition of his efforts in developing young talents in Abuja, which was presented to him by long time mentor and friend, Tee Y Mix, Gospel Obi popularly known as GospelOnDeBeatz reflected on his journey into music production and how Tee Y Mix mentored him 10 years ago.

Tee Y Mix also expressed his satisfaction in GospelOnDeBeatz’s career and wished him greater heights in the future as he presented the award to him. Other award recipients were Mama Cass and NCC.

During the course of the dinner, there were performances from some of the hottest up and coming acts in Abuja namely Jessica Bongos, Matilda, Peerayce and E Marshal. Popular Abuja dancer, Adela, also thrilled the audience with her group.