Nigerian musician Olamide Adedeji, also known as Baddosneh, will be joining Play TV as a brand ambassador, the cable network has announced.
Adedeji was named as the network’s latest ambassador this week when he signed an endorsement deal with Play.
Funmi Adenaike, general manager of Play TV, said: “Olamide is a brand loyal to local content in Nigeria. He is someone who encourages people to live their dreams and that is what Play TV is about. We care about local content that can compete anywhere in the world; this is why we have aligned ourselves with Olamide.”
Adedeji commended Play for its commitment to the creative industry in Nigeria. “I would like to thank Play TV for choosing to work with me and bring me onboard for this project. For me, this is a ground-breaking move. It’s a major thing for Nigeria. It’s a major thing for Africa,” he said.
When asked what content he has planned for Play TV, he said: “I won’t let the cat out of the bag. That’s our selling point.”
Adedeji was welcomed by staff of Play and other Play TV ambassadors, including TV presenter Labi Olayori and Nollywood actress Adediwura Adesegha (aka Blarkgold).
Stephanie Coker, co-host of The Voice Nigeria, has joined Arise News as co-host of The Morning Show.
After announcing the news on Instagram, Coker hosted the show for the first time earlier this week. Alongside Toyosi Etim-Effiong, she interviewed guests including South African TV personality Bonang Matheba and legal practitioner Iredumare Opeyemi.
The Morning Show airs on Arise News, DSTV channel 416, every weekday at 09.00.
Coker launched her media career in 2011 as an anchor of Street Request on MTV Base Africa. Since then, she has been host or co-host of several programmes, including MTV Big Friday Show, Guinness Colorful World of More, Ebony Life TV and The Voice Nigeria.
Arise News is a London-based world news channel. It also has studios in New York, Johannesburg and Lagos. The channel features African, US and European content.
Two Celebrity Housemates (CHM) participants have left the reality TV show following the latest round of evictions.
The third week of CHM saw contestants begging for votes from the public in order to continue their stay in the reality show.
On the eviction day, five contestants faced possible eviction: Yomi Fash Lanso, Jaywon, Muma Gee, Frederick Leonard and Eniola Badmus.
Badmus was the first to be saved from the chop by the number of votes she gained from viewers. Lanso and Leonard were also saved by public votes.
That left the two evictees – Muma Gee and Jaywon – with 60 seconds to say their goodbyes, whereupon they were asked to exit the house.
After his eviction, Jaywon said: “I used to believe I knew it all. I wasn’t used to doing house chores before the show – I can’t even remember the last time I washed my clothes before Celebrity Housemates. Being here taught me to do these things. Now, it’s like an exercise routine for me.
“I started getting tired of the house the day Ada Ameh was evicted, because she was my closest companion. She [treated] me like a brother and son and was always there for me. I remember when I was down in the house, Ada Ameh brought me medications and also brought tea to me every morning and night to ensure I was OK.
“What made it worse was that she got evicted the same day Funky Mallam got booted out too, and Funky Mallam was my roommate. Ever since, leaving the house was no longer going to hit me or shock me anymore.”
Muma Gee, meanwhile, was full of praise for fellow housemate Leonard: “It was a very good opportunity for me to even meet with someone who understands the real me, and could let me out of my shell with his intelligence and maturity. I had never met Frederick before the show and when I met him, it was like a new wine and life entirely for me.”
However, she questioned the authenticity of some of the show’s other participants: “Some of them were living a fake life in the house, all in the name of winning the grand prize. But I lived my life like I always do. It was a very great experience and opportunity for me to learn a lot even from some of the guests who came to talk to us.”
Badmus was nominated as the new house captain after competing with Doris Simeon for the role. Although she seemed very reluctant to take the baton from Ruggedman, she later took control, stating that she would supervise all the chores that needed to be done in the house.
Celebrity Housemates airs 24 hours a day on Dope TV. It also airs weekdays on WAP TV at 21.00; Silverbird Television at 20.30; NTA at 17.30; TVC Entertainment at 23.30; and PRTV at 22.30.
Nigerian cable network Play TV has added four channels to its pay platform, with plans to add two more later this month.
Play has upgraded its channel list to include 24-hour African comedy channel 1 Comedy, Germankids’ cartoon channel Fix & Foxi and two Indian channels, Colors and Rishtey.
1 Comedy airs on channel 291 while Colors, Rishtey and Fix & Foxi air on channels 290, 295 and 505 respectively. Fix & Foxi is owned by Munich-based Your Family Entertainment, while the two Indian nets are owned by Viacom18 of Mumbai.
Play will also add two more channels, African movie channel Aforevo TV and entertainment news service WapTV, this month.
Recently, 1 Comedy was in the news after it announced it will give content creators the opportunity to have their comedy skits air for free on the channel.
Play TV, formerly known as ConSat, has more than 50 channels, some of which are exclusive to the network, such as HFA TV, 1 Comedy, 1 Music and Irawo.
The housemates in the third season on Big Brother Naija (BBN), dubbed Double Wahala, were paired off on Wednesday.
In the latest development from the BBN3 house, the housemates were divided into pairs, with each male contestant required to pick a flower to give to any of the women he wanted to choose.
Meanwhile, the female contestants were asked to pick numbers before choosing their male partners.
The male participants were given the opportunity to either reject or accept any female’s proposal. However, drama unfolded when Ahneeka was rejected by Dee-one, who chose to pair with Vandora instead. She later paired with Rico Swavey.
Ahneeka shared her feelings about the rejection with fellow housemates, saying: “I feel bad but I don’t need his sympathy. It was an embarrassing situation.”
Dee-One later apologised to Ahneeka, saying: “I am sorry. I feel bad, I just thought the flower thing was like a game. What can I do to help you feel better?”
During the premiere of the reality show on Sunday, host Ebuka Uchedu announced there would be a change in the weekly eviction process this season. Housemates would be divided into pairs and would be either evicted or saved with their partners.
The pairs are:
Rico Swavey and Ahneeka
Tobi and Cee C
Lolu and Anto
Angel and Ifu Ennada
Leo and Alex
Teddy A and Bam Bam
Dee One and Vandora
Bitto and Princess
Miracle and Nina
K Brule and Khloe
BBN3 airs 24 hours a day on DSTV channel 198 and GOtv channel 29. The show is based on the format from Endemol Shine Group.
African fashion website Haute Fashion Africa (HFA) has launched its linear TV network exclusively on Nigerian pay TV platform Play TV.
Occupying channel 200, HFA TV features programmes that focus on the fashion industry in Africa. Shows go backstage and into the front row at fashion shows, highlighting various fashion stylists, designers and models.
Shows in its launch line-up include ICYMI: Haute Outside, Haute List Top Dix and Shop My Closet.
HFA has been an online destination since 2006. Speaking about the channel launch, HFA TV CEO Oluwadamilola ‘Wadami’ Amolegbe said: “For a decade, the Haute Fashion Africa brand has maintained its commitment to being a platform profile for African designers exhibiting a taste for the cultural.
“Tempered with an appreciation of the varied degrees of influence by the West in today’s fashion, the website has served as an exposure in the fashion world. With the recent launch of HFA TV, it furthers the narrative through television.”
Pay TV platform Play TV, formerly known as ConSat, offers a wide range of entertainment, from kids’ shows to sports, news, music and movies. It has more than 50 channels, some of which are exclusive to Play TV, such as HFA TV, 1 Comedy, 1 Music and Irawo TV.
African subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) platform iflix has announced it will be the exclusive online home for UK drama Britannia.
The historical drama is set it 43AD as Britain’s tribes and Druid mystics face an invading Roman army and have their lives changed forever. It is produced by Vertigo Films in association with Neal Street Productions for Sky in the UK.
Iflix will bring the show to 25 countries in Africa, including Nigeria. It is also carried by North African and Middle Eastern SVoD service Starz Play, and is distributed by London-based Sky Vision.
Evert van der Veer, iflix’s head of content in Africa and the Middle East, said: “The addition of Britannia is a testament to iflix’s commitment to showcase the very best international content to subscribers across the region.
“We are excited to partner with Sky to bringing our customers this year’s most anticipated new series before any other entertainment platform in the region.”
Iflix launched in Nigeria in August 2017, three years after it began operations in Malaysia. The company partners with more than 220 studios and distributors and carries a range of movies and TV series both locally and globally.
Nigeria’s federal government is seeking a court order to make broadcaster Channels Television hand over a copy of a controversial interview with Senator Isah Misau.
The move came after Senator Misau was taken to Abuja High Court in Maitama on seven counts of allegedly accusing the inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris, of corrupt practices, sexual misconduct and falsehood during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.
Senator Misau is a retired deputy superintendent of police and represents Bauchi Central Senatorial District. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and was granted bail, set at N5m.
The case against the senator was adjourned till February 22 and Channels Television has been instructed to produce footage of the interview for evidence.
Registration is now open for the sixth Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NEC), which takes place in Lagos on April 25.
This year’s conference will focus on the theme Understanding Emerging Markets, Trends & Opportunities.
It will explore how the creative industries in Nigeria can exploit the tools that innovative technology provides and how best to use them to develop the industry and create impact, locally and internationally. It will be hosted by comedian Tee A.
Organised annually since 2013, NEC brings together practitioners from different spheres of the entertainment industry for one day of conversations, workshops, exhibitions and masterclasses.
NEC founder Ayeni Adekunle said: “As the entertainment business the world over continues to see rapid, shocking changes, with the future of the industry increasingly relying on IT and new ideas, NEC is bringing practitioners in Nigeria together to put our house in order, while taking concrete steps to study global trends, understand them, master them and put them to use – for the benefit of practitioners, consumers, corporates and society.”
Registration to attend NEC is underway and the event will be held at Landmark Event Centre, Oniru, Lagos.
Speakers from previous editions of NEC include Toyin Abraham, Basketmouth, John Ugbe, Banky W, Funke Akindele and D’banj. This year’s speakers and panelists are yet to be announced.
NEC will be aired live on cable and online TV, although the channels carrying it have yet to be revealed.
Sponsors of the conference include MTN, Beat FM, Black House Media, COSON, Cool FM, MultiChoice Nigeria, Bank of Industry, The British Council, NET and Interswitch.
Nigeria’s digital switchover (DSO) is set to reach Enugu and Osun states this month.
The news, which comes weeks after Kwara and Kaduna states made the switchover, was announced at a DSO stakeholders held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, by Mallam Is’haq Modibbo-Kawu, director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Modibbo-Kawu also disclosed that DSO would reach Delta and Gombe states during the first quarter of 2018, and promised that 12 further states would make the transition before the year ends.
Of the challenges posed by DSO, he added: “Coverage is related to topography. Take, as an example, the Federal Capital Territory – it is a city of hills and undulating ground.
“As I am talking to you, the signal distributor for Abuja has purchased feeder pillar transmitters, which will be installed for the entire Abuja and environs to be covered. The same thing applies in Plateau. The signal distributor has to put feeder pillar transmitters in places like Langtang for the entire state to be covered.”
The DSO meeting also saw speakers proffer solutions for such challenges. Olusegun Odebunmi, chairman of the House Committee on Information, National Orientation & Values, addressed the issue of lack of funds.
“The government must give directives for the sale of spectrum and make part of the realised money available to bankroll the process,” Odebunmi said. “The best and the only sure way to raise money is to sell off the nation’s spectrum. The process requires huge investment and, because it is Nigerians that will benefit from it, it is time for government to invest in its people.
“There should also be a plan for compensation for those people who are vacating the spectrum. Money from the spectrum will also be used to subsidise the purchase of set-top boxes for the masses. The government must have the political will to drive the process.”
The NBC has asked states that have made the switchover to consider subsidising set-top boxes for indigenes and old people. So far, DSO has reached Abuja, Jos, Kwara and Kaduna states.
Lagos-based Arcadia Mobile TV will attend Discop Dubai later this month and is currently the only Nigerian company scheduled to go to the programme market.
Almost a year since the online video platform’s launch, Arcadia will use the three-day event to acquire content and the learn about the international programming marketplace.
“We are looking to buy content at Discop Dubai,” Akintude Marinho, executive producer at Arcadia, told Content Nigeria. “Most importantly, we are seeking to see how content is sold on a global scale so we can come back to Nigeria to develop our content, based on the information we hope to gain.”
Arcadia has channels focusing on comedy, fashion, documentaries, sports, movies, anime, art and lifestyle. Both Marinho and chief content officer Olamide Yousuph will be in Dubai to acquire fresh content.
“Arcadia Mobile TV has recently collaborated with some content creators and we’ve been able to create some short films. We are also working on some Ghanaian TV partnerships,” Marinho added.
Taking place from February 25 to 27 in the United Arab Emirates city, Discop Dubai will host more than 175 film and TV content sellers, with more than 400 buyers seeking foreign programming.
In excess of 300 media companies and entrepreneurs will be present at the event, while independent producers from the Middle East will attend and take part in a sidebar training, deal-building, networking and pitching programme.
The organiser of the event, Basic Lead, is also holding programme markets in Abidjan, Zanzibar and Johannesburg in May, July and November, respectively. The company also plans to launch a similar event in Lagos in 2019.
Three participants were evicted from Nigerian reality TV show Celebrity Housemates earlier this week.
Six contestants – Frederick Leonard, Muma Gee, Ada Ameh, Junior Pope, Funky Mallam and Ogenna Okwubiri – were nominated for eviction by their fellow housemates and could only be saved by votes from viewers.
Ameh, Okwubiri and Mallam emerged with the fewest public votes, ensuring their eviction from the house.
Ameh said her eviction did not come as a surprise: “I knew it was 50/50 the moment I was nominated for eviction, but I never imagined it would happen so fast, because I was so real and already started building a family in the house.
“I love all the contestants and I believe it was a game in which some people will go and some will remain but only one winner will emerge. Be it as it may, I don’t have any regrets participating. I also thank the organisers for counting me worthy to be among the invited celebrities to premiere the reality TV show.”
To Mallam, it was a blessing in disguise: “I think I was evicted because I am planning for my wedding this month, and maybe my fellow housemates think I need some time to plan a very good gig or the organisers felt it would be hard to release me from the house for a whole three days, missing out on the games and all other activities, and hence decided to boot me out of the house. But in all, it was an unforgettable experience all the way.”
An emotional Ogenna Okwubiri, meanwhile, believed she was evicted because she couldn’t live a ‘two-sided life’ – unlike other celebrities in the house, she doesn’t act and had never previously taken part in a reality show, she said.
“Thank you, Celebrity Housemates, it was an amazing experience,” she said. “I’m glad to be among the worthy participants. I’m going to miss the fun, the noise, the laughs. This last week has recorded the biggest laugh of my life. I never even knew I could laugh as much as I did, but bringing people of different backgrounds and social beliefs together under a roof can sometimes bring out the best out of you.”
Week two of Celebrity Housemates had Dj Bellcheque visit the house to party with the remaining contestants, in keeping with the promise of the organisers to invite other celebrities to mingle with the housemates each week.
Celebrity Housemates airs weekdays on WAP TV, DSTV channel 252, at 21.00; Silverbird Television, DSTV channel 252, at 20.30; NTA at 17.30; TVC Entertainment, DSTV channel 418, at 23.30; and PRTV at 22.30. It also airs 24 hours a day on Dope TV.
Web-based video channel LindaIkeji TV has released a trailer for forthcoming reality show Ajegunle With Love.
The original series will follow the lives of people born and bred in Ajegunle, a neighbourhood in Lagos. According to the network, Ajegunle With Love will focus on the drama, intrigue, poverty and hard work to be found in the town.
Joining the long list of reality programmes heading for the network this year, Ajegunle With Love will show the daily hustle of five individuals: singer Sunny Boy, barber Valiant, bar owner and security guard Jairo, footballer Lucia, and Harris, a graduate of Lagos State University and a teacher.
Ajegunle With Love is exclusive to LindaIkeji TV, is produced by Odega Shawa and has Linda Ikeji, CEO of LindaIkeji TV, as its creative and executive producer. Its release date has yet to be announced.
Other reality TV shows lined up to launch this year on LindaIkeji TV are Gidi Girls, King Tonto and Oyinbo Wives of Lagos. Linda Ikeji, one of the biggest bloggers in Nigeria, launched her web video channel in 2016.
The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has assured the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of its support for digital switchover (DSO) plans, reports Gabriella Opara.
During a DSO stakeholders’ meeting held last Thursday in Uyo in Akwa Ibom state, BON chairman John Momoh pledged his support to the NBC over its plans to ensure DSO nationwide.
“We are witnessing an era in which the broadcast industry is presenting great opportunities and at the same time facing some threats. Opportunities in the sense that the whole of broadcasting is changing from content platforms like Apple to OTT services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime through to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter,” Momoh said.
“And so many companies are eager to get great content. This is where we, as broadcasters, need the support of the NBC – to ensure that it lays the groundwork for future success. The best way for us to invent the future is to put in place the best possible architecture and give the industry the freedom to thrive,” Momoh added.
At the meeting, NBC director general Is’haq Modibbo Kawu also pledged that all hands will be on deck to ensure the smooth sailing of DSO in 2018.
In a statement upon the launch, Nigeria minister for information and culture Lai Mohammed promised more DSO would take place within a few weeks across the states. He also said DSO would generate N100bn annually through the FreeTV distribution network, which has more than 200 channels.
Emem Ime Okwoche, producer of popular morning TV talkshow Your View (pictured above) and lifestyle show Wake Up Nigeria, tells Opara Gabriella how she juggles two shows with impending motherhood.
Against the backdrop of a Wake Up Nigeria banner and TVC Entertainment Splash showing on the television in front of us, Emem Ime Okwoche is all charm and grace as we discuss the TV shows she produces on Television Continental (TVC).
What led to the creation of Your View?
Your View is based on the US talkshow The View, where women come together to talk about social issues. The View helped form the idea behind Your View. However, I wasn’t a producer of Your View when it started, I came in a while later.
How has the show been affected by the new hosts over the years?
The idea of having new hosts on Your View is to give diverse views and fresh intellectual content to the show. This has had a huge impact on the show because we did not just invite anyone, we scouted for women who were strongly opinionated and intelligent who we knew would bring fresh perspectives, with different views to the regular hosts on the show.
The hosts are all female, except for Cyril. Is this deliberate?
Yes, it is deliberate. Cyril is not a presenter of the show, he comes in as a guest. The reason why women host the show is because Your View is meant to be a voice for women who are concerned about social issues. You will realise that there are very few talkshows for women in Nigeria and even fewer that address topical social issues.
How do you feel about going in front of the cameras as a presenter on Wake Up Nigeria?
It’s been thrilling. Presenting has always been my first love, despite my science background. Upon joining TVC, I got the opportunity to produce Your View. Although I thought it wasn’t my forte at first, I grabbed the opportunity.
Yes, it was challenging but in time I got excited because I retained an open mind and a willingness to learn and that helped me get a lot of ideas on how to make it better and stay top notch.
Then along came another opportunity, to present for Wake Up Nigeria. So, again, I grabbed the bull by the horns and auditioned. For me, it’s one more step in the right direction. I am also one of the producers for Wake Up Nigeria.
Tell us about your science background.
I studied medicine for three years at MacDonald University, Anambra, before transferring to biochemistry later on.
What are your experiences of producing Wake Up Nigeria?
It’s been fun; something new everyday. There are a lot of producers for the show and I am one of them. Wake Up Nigeria is a two-hour show, a potpourri of everything entertainment and an animal for content, so it needs more than one person to produce it. When it comes to content delivery, it is important that you have different people coming up with new ideas.
Morayo Afolabi-Brown [host of Your View] selected a couple of people to produce the show because she needed content that would add value to the show. We all work together to produce a content-filled show. No-one is dedicated to any segment. I could say I’m somewhat more dedicated to fashion, as it is my forte, and I come up with the fashion DIYs on Wake Up Nigeria.
What is the differences between Your View and Wake Up Nigeria?
The similarities are they are both TV breakfast shows, they appeal to similar audience and the same issues are often discussed on both shows.
The differences are that Your View is hosted by women who discuss, focus and address issues that affect society at large. They also represent every Nigerian woman by giving her a voice.
Wake Up Nigeria, however, is hosted by presenters who represent different classes of young men and women. It is a potpourri of all things, including fashion, music, movies, entertainment, arts, sports and more. It appeals to youths and women.
How do you balance your job as a presenter and producer with your impending motherhood?
As a first-time mum, it’s been challenging. Wake Up Nigeria starts really early, about 07.00, so I am up by 04.00, getting ready for the day. One thing that has helped is time management. I work with time and structure everything I do according to it.
What do you have planned for Wake Up Nigeria for this year?
We have a new outdoor set. Also, we are dishing out content that will keep our viewers locked to the show. We get comments from viewers who say they love the show and that’s what drives us to do more. We draw from that drive to feed our viewers with the content they are yearning for.
What’s the one thing you’d like Content Nigeria readers to know about you?
People usually don’t know that I’m a fun person. The first impression they usually get from me is that I’m a snob, but the truth is I am a fun-loving person and I love to cook. I cook very well.
Catch Wake Up Nigeria and Your View every weekday on TVC Entertainment on GOtv channel 25, StarTimes channel 121 and Play TV channel 801 from 07.00 and 09.00 respectively.
The housemates in the third season of reality hit Big Brother Naija (BBN) were unveiled on Sunday.
BBN3, tagged Double Wahala, premiered on Sunday night in Johannesburg, South Africa, revealing the faces of all 20 housemates. Former housemate Ebuka Uchedu hosted the show and live music was performed by Mayorkun and Kiss Daniel.
A live screening of the premiere was held at Oregun in Lagos with former BBN housemates Tboss and Bassey acting as hosts with celebrities and other ex-housemates in attendance. The show debuted live at 19.00 on MultiChoice-owned DSTV channel 198 and GOtv channel 29.
The housemates in BBN3 are Ahneeka, Alex, Angel, Anto, Bambam, Khloe, Leo, Lolu, Miracle, Nina, Bitto, Cee-c, Dee-one, Ifuennada, K. Brule, Princess, Rico Swavey, Teddy A, Tobi and Vandora. The show will air 24/7 on DSTV channel 198 and GOtv channel 29.
Uchedu announced at the launch that contestants will be divided into groups and each housemate will either be selected for eviction or saved from it by their peers. Evictions will take place weekly.
Housemates of BBN will live together for 11 weeks, competing for a prize of N45m, announced by organiser MNet West Africa. The show is based on the format owned by Endemol Shine Group.
Martin Mabutho, general manager of sales and marketing for MultiChoice Nigeria, spoke about the return of BBN, stating: “Without a doubt, this promises to be the most exciting edition of the Big Brother franchise on the African continent.
“The last edition of Big Brother Naija was incredibly successful and we see just how much the show continues to resonate with fans in Nigeria and around the continent. We guarantee not only that our viewers will enjoy the premiere show, but that they will stay tuned for three months until the show’s finale when the winner is revealed.”
President Muhammadu Buhari’s media team has announced a weekly programme that will focus on the policies of the current administration, reports Gabriella Opara.
Weeks after the release of a documentary titled The Human Side of President Buhari, Abiola Olusola, deputy director of media in the office of the vice-president, has revealed that the show is set to launch on a number of TV networks in the country.
According to Olusola, the programme will promote the policies and steps taken by Buhari to attempt to ensure the growth of Nigeria.
The show, whose name and release date have yet to be revealed, will air on Channels TV on Mondays at 16.30, NTA on Thursdays at 18.30, Core TV News on Saturdays at 12.30 and Liberty TV on Sundays at 16.30.
Pan-African cable network Kwesé TV has commenced operations in Jalingo, Taraba State, reports Gabriella Opara.
Emeka Chinweokwu, a Kwesé TV dealer in Taraba, said: “The official inauguration is an attempt to keep Taraba’s people abreast of the competitive digital world, which offers a lot of opportunities. Kwesé TV offers customers a unique package where they can pay for three days, seven days or 30 days.’’
Mazeli Joseph, Kwesé TV’s head of sales, said the move ensured that customers are guaranteed all-round entertainment from the convenience of their home.
Kwesé TV, which is owned by Econet Media, launched in Nigeria in October and has since added more channels to its platform and collaborated with MTN Nigeria to offer more of its services to subscribers.
Kwesé Free Sports holds exclusive free-to-air rights to the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia and the UK’s Premier League. It is also a broadcast partner of the National Basketball Association in sub-Saharan Africa.
Veteran Nollywood actor Chika Okpala (fka Zebrudaya) has called out foreign TV networks like Telemundo and Zee World for causing Nigerian viewers to ignore indigenous content.
In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, Okpala shared his concerns over sitcoms produced in Nigeria and their lack of sponsorship.
“Foreign soaps, like Mexican ones, Telemundo, Zee World and the rest of them have flooded our TV screens and our indigenous TV drama series are suffering. Popular programmes The New Masquerade, Cockcrow at Dawn, The Village Headmaster and others were left to slip away,” said Okpala.
“The dwindling economy is the major problem for production in this country and lack of sponsorship has contributed to the death of programmes. Without the economy being vibrant, you cannot push programmes forward. People cannot do productions without it yielding something substantial to take care of their families.”
Okpala believes sponsorship is vital to producing top-notch TV drama, saying that most of the old sitcoms stopped airing because they lacked support from sponsors.
Foreign networks are not helping matters because they have drawn Nigerian viewers to them, he claimed, leaving very little viewership for the indigenous sitcoms still airing.
Okpala insisted that if local sitcoms are produced and sponsored it will support the livelihoods of many more people, which will boost the country’s economy.
Okpala is best known for his role in 1990s sitcom New Masquerade.
Play TV, the Lagos-based pay TV platform formerly known as ConSat, is to air some of its comedy programming for free.
The platform is set to give content creators an opportunity to air their programming for free via African comedy channel 1 Comedy, it was announced on Play TV’s Instagram page this week.
Asked about this development, 1 Comedy producer Dec Imafidon said: “There are many talented young people who are into sketch comedic acting, popularly called skits, and are in need of a platform to showcase their talent. 1 Comedy has decided to be that platform; we provide the opportunity by airing their skits for free.
“There are terms and conditions and we have guidelines, but if your content is of quality and meets with our approval, then we will have it broadcast. 1 Comedy will be churning out fantastic and rib-cracking content all year long.”
Imafidon explained how to provide material to 1 Comedy: “Interested comedy content creators can bring over their skits to the Play office at 1 Continental Way, Ikosi Ketu, Lagos and give it to Mr Seyi.”
1 Comedy airs via channel 291 on Play TV, which has more than 50 channels with a range of entertainment for the family.