Do Adamawa Entertainers Deserve Political Event Funding?

Before you someone crucifies me, take some time to go through this piece…

Barely a week now, Adamawa entertainers went wild on social media Vowing Not to Vote for incumbent governor of Adamawa State, Senator Mohammadu Jibrilla Bindow (click blue text to read) over the non-inclusion of Local artiste during the official flag-off Campaign of the Governor on Saturday, 5th January at the Mahmud Ribadu Square in Jimeta-Yola.

What is really going on here? Who is at fault here? Who do we really blame in the whole scenario? and what is the solution forward?

Over the past decade, the Adamawa creative industry has not recorded any tangle achievement; only for few who had a taste of the better side of the industry, were able to get a niche for themselves, and doing better than the myriad of talents available in the state.

Though, we can not say that these talents are not trying, but are limited by so many conditions which include; exposure, standards, the ability of scripting the right piece to a target audience, and largely lack of funding.

The truth be told, creativity cannot survive without funding, YES MONEY!, because having access to a complete production set needs money. The media needs to sustain itself, so, they would demand a small token from talents who wished to showcase their artistry.

So if a talent requests for payment at events, they should be paid. The payment can be in monetary value or with other services in return based on the agreements of the parties involved.

Should Entertainers Make Political Music/Films/Drama?

We have a society that is more mistrusting of their government than ever before, and we see no reason why musicians should not make political music.

We can’t escape politics. As long as you exist on earth., are human, and belong to a sovereign country, chances are that you are guided by laws and borders determined by an economic system. And no matter how much you try to avoid it, politics just shows up and affects the way you live, either negatively or positively.

One nation that has been influenced adversely by governance and political issues in Nigeria. We as a whole know the issues; corruption that has eaten into the general public, prompting a battling society.

Adamawa is not far from the other thirty-six state of the country, and we have better political engagement than most of these states, if not all, with big-time rich political tycoons that held top positions in the country, several times. And all of these moguls have a residence or have established one or two business outfits in the state.

The state is heated in all locales, with the initiative of the present government addressed every step of the way by indigenes. Yet, this isn’t reflected in the music made by the main voices of our music sphere. Our artiste generally acts and live their lives as being impenetrable to the battles of the general population. It feels like they aren’t a piece of the state, or are uncaring to the general public in which they benefit from with their craft.

Much of the biggest musicians even in the country at large are literally living in a world far away from their fans, the people who buy and patronize their music. The average guy on the street who listens to an act like Wizkid, and watches his videos have a different set of problems than the artist. While the artist might be wondering what airline to take to his next vacation, his listener might just be praying for power to save him from heat at night. Speaking out on behalf of these people shows empathy. You might not be affected by the system, but your fans are, and they expect their idol to care about them too.

Some though pointed out these issues but lacked the measures of reaching out to the government or its agencies concerned. Instead of addressing issues, they engage in praising the government for lubricating their mouths with sugary liquids which they were offered after creating such “Maula” songs.

As an entertainer, at initials, its advisable not to be partisan as you might not know who would be interested in your artistry, even though, from within we have our choice of candidates or political parties. But in the music business, you don’t lure to a particular politician unless that particular politician or party endorses you as it’s official campaign act.

All politicians work with their loyalist, if you are not within their camp, it would be difficult for you to penetrate them or for them to spend on you. Take, for instance, the just conclude flag off campaign in respect of APC’s gubernatorial candidate, Senator Bindow. He on his own might not be the sponsor of such event, but the party or His campaign group and its membership. and yet they have their chosen or endorsed acts which they rally round the state with.

Another incident is that of the PDP Adamawa State Mega Rally for its Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar At Ribadu Square, which national acts were invited, (either sponsored by those who endorsed them or self-sponsored).

So you see, each event planner has its choice of acts, and makes the decision on who to use as his brand act for their campaigns.

Is the government neglecting the Adamawa Entertainment Industry?

This has been a controversial question that till date neither the talents nor the government officials cannot draw a conclusion to. In several publications on national dailies and top blogs outside and within the state, we have been reading stories like:

  • Governor Mohammed Bindow of Adamawa State said his administration had empowered 10,000 youths in various ways of economic life.
  • YESSO set to empower 6000 youths in Adamawa
  • Bindow to empower more women, youths in Adamawa
  • Adamawa State Govt Got N177.328bn From World Bank: Other World Bank’s projects according to the SSG includes; State Education Project Investment Program (SEPIP), Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) and a sectorial program which also have credits of N18.3 billion, N5.04 billion and N16.2 billion respectively.
  • Adamawa committed to youth empowerment – Bindow

and so on published with different dates… One keeps wondering with all these headling empowerment stories what is really happening to our youths whom many of such are entertainers and have been exploiting their creativity to get something to eat. Some even died on the process, trying to of feed themselves and their families through their craft and yet nothing to show.

In cities like Lagos, emerging talents eats well, rents an apartment for himself, have a small car for his mobility and still send some monies to his family. Monies generated from showbiz which is largely what Lagos State government’s revenue is generated from.

Could it be that the government is just spreading nonfactual stories or is it that the youths are mismanaging the provided resources which were announced on the media?

In the early weeks of July 2017, Adamawa State government through the Ministry of Information and Strategy and in collaboration with North East Regional Initiative (NERI) staged a concert to celebrate the return of peace following success in the fight against Boko Haram. The event was also aimed at enlightening the public on the need to reject violence.

The organizers invited top acts like YCEE, ClassiQ, MTV Presenter, Samantha Walsh, and others, and also included about ten to twelve local acts and a beauty queen who were paid according to the agreement.

No doubt, the gesture offered by the government really encouraged the young talents and even their fans who enjoyed good and meaningful music.

But is this enough in harnessing the growth of the industry or the empowerment of these acts?

Event planners within the Adamawa’s showbiz hardly sponsor themselves to organize outstanding events that would attract more audience to come and enjoy good music, enlightening drama, rib cracking comedies and lots more. Why because the event halls are expensive to rent, sound systems are expensive to hire, likewise paying off all intended performing artists.

Music and film producers, promoters and publicists hardly sustain their promotional brands due to lack of funding. Clubs don’t invite talents because they hardly get their spent capital back due to little turn-up.

Way Forward…

Creative Talents

  • Ranting on the social media do have less effect. Why not design a beautiful proposal that would bring the growth of the industry, the state, and the nation entirely and take it to the government agencies concerned, who would relay it to the sitting Governor.
  • Work on your artistry to meet world standards, promoting it on a daily basis to all angles of the state. Based on some comments read, it seems our contents always circulate a particular set of audience. We need to engage in using other promotional tools apart from the blogs we are used to.
  •  Peaceful dialogue is more enriching than being aggressive in our approaches.
  • If you are young in the business, always respect those who were there before you, because what they know might be the secret to your success in the industry.
  • As popular acts don’t be satisfied by the current audience bumping to your demos, always look for more and respect each patronizer of your contents.
  • What next do you want to see achieved in 2019?

Government Needs to do more.

  • First of all is that the government should learn to trust its people with whatever projects they intend to do in the state, as Adamawa has enough professionals who can handle all projects initiated for the development of the state. Be it in the Engineering field, Agricultural, Mining, Entertainment, Media and so on.
  • The Adamawa state government really need to work on the true empowerment of the youths
  • The government should Instruct its Ministries and other agencies to accept and work on proposals that would touch developmental issues in the society (as many of these ministries neglect and trash proposals submitted by meaningful indigenes)
  • Always note that those who voted them into power are indigenes which the youths constitute a large number. Talents from home should always be a priority. And the government should spend on them more than the invited guests. Most of the invited were empowered by their own state before going out to other states. These millions need to be invested in the growth of the state, not other states.
  • Non-functioning Adamawa State-owned theatre halls should be reconstructed and rehabilitated e.g The Ribadu Square indoor and outdoor halls, Yola International Hotel which used to be booming like any other top hotels in Abuja or Lagos
  • The government should urge all commercial banks, companies and other big-time business outfits in the state to wake up and start their corporate responsibilities to their host communities, which many are running from unlike in State like Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Porthacout and others.
  • Should encourage state-owned media to develop youth-oriented programs which would help promote emerging talents
  • Should also allocate more funding to the ministries of Culture & Tourism, Information & Strategy, Youths & Sports, and also Women Affairs so that it would be easy for them to work together with the youths in developing ideas that would bring change to the community and the lives of the younger generation.

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