A School of thought holds: 'Stars are made and not born'. I say, whether born or made, it is good to be a Star. Nigeria’s entertainment industry is sometimes like a theatre of comedy, especially when you put in the added spice of the involvement of telecoms companies.
All over the world its normal to see popular faces aka Stars, become Brand Ambassadors for companies’ products and services. For example, we have: Beyonce for Pepsi; Alicia Keys for Blackberry; Taylor Swift for Diet Coke; Lady Gaga for Polaroid; and Rory Mcllroy for NIKE. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal if the same thing is done in Nigeria.
However, considering the rivalry between the telecoms companies in Nigeria, one can only imagine the level it will be taken to. For instance:
Glo has signed Waje, Omawunmi, Flavor, M.i, Naeto C, P Square, Bez, Lagbaja etc
MTN signed Iyanya, Davido, iMike, Chidinma, Praiz, Wizkid etc.
Now, this is ok for the industry, after all, money is flowing, and the Stars have paid their dues.
Funny thing though is, Glo also has actors, actresses and comedians as their Brand Ambassadors e.g. Basket Mouth, Desmond Elliot, Funke Akindele, Odunlade Adekola, Uche Jombo Rodriguez, Rita Dominic, Ali Nuhu, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, Monalisa Chinda, PSquare and Sammy Okposo among other celebrities as ambassadors too.
But Glo and MTN are just 2 out of 4 telecoms companies in Nigeria. So I wonder what will happen when Airtel or Etisalat has a big musical concert! Who will come to play there?
After all, it’s obvious the terms of agreement of the other telecoms ambassadors will not allow them perform at the shows of the companies’ rivals. Besides, if you remove all the listed names above from the list of Nigerian Stars, I wonder who is left!
Who will Airtel and Etisalat sign as their Brand Ambassadors?
Who will host their shows?
Who will sing for them?
Who will headline their shows?
Who will walk their red carpets?
Who will do their celebrity adverts?
Who will act in their sponsored movies (if they decide to do some)?
It’s about time these telecom companies look at alternatives. What alternatives, you ask? Well, alternatives like Spoken Word Poetry. Funny, right?
Well, Spoken Word Poetry is a fast emerging Art in Nigeria, and Spoken Word Poets are multi-talented and creative people, and as the saying goes, it is important to “catch them young”.
There are a number of advantages telecoms companies stand to gain from investing in this Art form, especially as it is an untapped gold mine.
I do know not everyone can see what I see, but if they wait till the Spoken Word Poetry industry fully matures before they decide to delve into it, they just might not have anyone to attend and/or perform at their events :). Ok, I am just kidding!
But on a more serious note, helping to develop an industry is not something many companies can lay claim to, is it?
Creating a Spoken Word Poetry industry would provide employment opportunities for otherwise jobless but creative youths. Spoken Word Poetry as an Art form is a genre of entertainment, which can also be used as a literacy development tool for communication, information and education.
The time is right, and the time is now, because history can be made today. It is time to develop the Spoken word industry in Nigeria!!!