What’s missing in Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s Richard Mofe Damijo-led 9-member Lagos State creativity empowerment committee – Part One

Haba, my friend. The committee was only inaugurated last week and already there’s something missing? Are you so desperate for attention?

Is that what you think this is about?

I guess not but shouldn’t you give the members some time to settle in and face the very strategic assignment?

I’m willing to do that but the morning shows the day

Meaning?

Didn’t you see that the committee is dominated by gate-keepers

I don’t understand

All the non-government members of the committee are superstars – RMD, Mo Abudu, Tunde Kelani, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe and Kunle Afolayan

So?

They are paragons of traditional media and some of the best Nigerian entertainment tradition has produced over the years.

What is wrong with that?

Absolutely nothing. They have earned their stripes but come along with me

To where?

Oh, pls. It’s only a manner of speaking. Imagine for a moment that these established entertainment influencers and the other four persons that make up the committee sat as judges in a music, dance, movie, television, etc show. Would I pass any audition chaired by these persons?

If you are good, you should pass, I guess. Wait a minute, this is not coming from a place of beef, I hope?

Beef? God forbid. Do you remember those MTN sponsored PROJECT FAME auditions of yesteryears? Do you still remember some of the most unforgettable performers, especially at the regional auditions who didn’t make it past the group stages? I remember a particular occasion where the guy performing literally made the judges fall on one another. He had the judges in stitches. Yet that was the end of his participation in the competition. Imagine if that guy were properly guided, he could have become a massive sensation on TikTok or YouTube shorts, for example, and be making a living off his creativity (although those platforms didn’t exist in those days.) You must know that many of those judges ended the creative journeys of hundreds of thousands of people. We have some similar talent search projects going on as we speak with the judges following exactly the same model as before when the times have since changed.

But the judges had their criteria, which they followed? Are you saying they should have jettisoned the criteria and followed every interesting performer? That would have been confusion.

I agree. In the days of ignorance God overlooked but now, he commands men everywhere to repent

You’re losing me now

Stay with me, my friend. I’m not about what we did yesterday. I’m talking about the now. The formula for breaking into the acting, dancing, singing, or any other part of the entertainment space has been radically changed. Do you know that those persons with unique voices, talent, etc needed just one thing and they would have begun successful journeys into entertainment?

What did they need, and what do those who are like them today need?

They tried so hard to impress the judges and gatekeepers when what they really needed was an audience. The audience is now the real gatekeepers, no longer the judges like we had in the past. Power has changed hands.

An audience?

Yes, my friend. That’s the most important need of creatives in Lagos seeking to make any kind of success in the entertainment space

I don’t understand.

I will give you more details tomorrow.

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