Boys Can Cook executive producer Stanley Aneto tells Gabriella Opara about the origins of the culinary series and discusses his plans for the future.
Producer and artist Stanley Aneto is a graduate of CityVarsity, Cape Town, where he studied filmmaking. In 2011, he received a Nigeria Music Video Award for Oh Water, which won the Best Indigenous Concept category.
Last year he launched culinary show Boys Can Cook, which debuted on NTA in November.
Aneto, who is also creative director at Divcon Multimedia and co-founder of Formex Studios, is passionate about improving the environment and is an anti-drug abuse advocate.
What inspired Boys Can Cook?
I have always enjoyed cooking. I think I can call myself a good cook, but sometimes my cooking goes wrong and I wonder how many other men share this fate. Boys Can Cook was born as a result of that.
Naturally, ladies believe the kitchen is their place and scorn boys who try to prove them wrong. What I do in the kitchen would seem funny to ladies because I violate every known culinary procedure to achieve what can be eaten. After all, the proof is in the pudding. I believe I speak for a lot of guys. Consequently, I created Boys Can Cook to entertain, not to teach how to cook.
What is its niche?
I would best describe it as a reality TV kitchen comedy show. Boys Can Cook is designed to give male celebrities an opportunity to cook for their fans. This effort is often challenged by the hosts, who apply every possible means to make them fail. The cooking usually ends up a disaster as a result.
What is the target audience?
The nature of the show makes it difficult to define its target audience. However, if I must, Boys Can Cook appeals to families but also possesses a unique power to entertain a wide spectrum of viewers.
The show features a lot of comedians – is this deliberate?
The genre of the show is primarily comedy but we feature celebrities besides comedians. In our first season, we have comedians, Nollywood actors and artists.
We hope to widen this in the coming season. We plan to launch a special edition where we feature public figures including politicians.
What has it been like producing the show?
It’s a huge opportunity for me, despite the challenges. The show is new, in idea and time. Every eye is on me to chart a meaningful course for it. I am always on my toes to see that the production quality is top-notch and, believe me, this is almost on a 24-hour basis.
I am certain things will ease off as soon as we are able to recruit more capable hands. But until then, the experience remains challenging but exciting.
What can you tell us about the show’s launch?
We filmed our first episode in July 2017 and incidentally came online in that same period on Instagram. The first TV broadcast was made in November 2017. So we are still pretty young. Our YouTube channel launched in January. The show is anchored by Noela Nwankwo and Lynda Abiaziem.
What new content do you have planned for the show?
Boys Can Cook promises to evolve over time. A special is currently in the works. We have shot some episodes already with veteran photographer Uche Iroha and painter Mufu Onifada as our first guests. We are also considering going live soon, with an audience present on set. We have begun the process of exporting the content to other African countries using the uniqueness of their own settings.
I am excited about the future and trust God for more open doors.
What other content are you producing?
In South Africa, I started the production of a comedy TV show, Mr. Davidson the Alien, which reveals the funny side of surviving abroad as a Nigerian – the truth we do not want those at home to know. Unfortunately, this show has yet to be concluded.
Presently, I am working on my first feature film, a comedy.
What projects have you worked on recently?
After my training in film production, Divcon Multimedia [where Aneto is creative director] was created in 2015 because it was necessary to create a platform that offers a wide range of quality media services to both corporate and entertainment clients.
Formex Studios, which I co-founded, was created to provide access to high-end media production that is usually unaffordable to low-income earners. In Cape Town, we observed that lots of Nigerians who love the beautiful landscape of South Africa find it difficult to make their dreams come true as a result of cost. So we – mostly Nigerians – came together to create a team of skilled people who have functioned in different media houses. The idea was basically to make media services affordable to all without compromising quality.
Catch Boys Can Cook every Saturday on NTA at 09.30 and on YouTube.