Why Naija Superstars Are Stars Outside of Nigeria

Nollywood is known all over the world as the third largest film industry after Bollywood and Hollywood. The distinction mainly rests on the popularity of Nollywood films all over the world but of late it is Naija musicians who are making the big money and drawing world wide fame. How does Nigerian entertainment industry with its limited resources and low quality productions do it?  

I attribute Naija's entertainment industry success to two factors that we as South Africans fail on. 

  • Local Support Internationally
One of the main things that fuel Naija stars' success is that a Nigerian anywhere in the world still supports Nigerian films and music. Unfortunately for us South Africans, you go to London for two weeks and you lose your accent and do not associate yourself with anything South African. Even when you come back to Mzansi after those two weeks, you still retain the British accent. 

South Africans out of South Africa do not support SA talent. Lira in the US did not as much support from the South Africans living there as one would have hoped. It is these South Africans there who were going to introduce her to Americans.  

Fans in London go wild for Iyanya who was there for the Cokobar Anniversary show 
  • Being Well Organised
The few Nigerian stars I have worked with are very well organised. A musician will have a manager and a publiciats. These are people who know what their job and responsibilities are. You will never see D'Banj's manager or publicists walking the redcarpet at the Channel O VMA or the MTV African Music Awards. Here in Mzansi, publicists and managers compete with their celebrity clients for the spotlight. 

D'Banj was one of the stars at the MTV VMA 2014 invited by Beats By Dre

The reason why international stars like Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, etc would rather work with Naija stars is because they are business men and know that the Naija appeal is not only in Nigeria. 

The Nigeria have mastered this so well that they have now even go us South African buying into their brands. And why are we suddenly buying into the Naija entertainment brand? because they are collaborating with the American and we worship everything American here.

As someone who is constantly frustrated with how we run the entertainment industry here in South Africa, I am excited about the future of African entertainment industry thanks to the popularity of Naija stars outside of the continent. 

It is sad that in South Africa we have world class resources that will be used by Hollywood while our own stars do not get much recognition and financial success. 

- Until we change the culture to actually promote people who have real star power —  people who the masses love not Twitter...

- Until we recognize that the industry will only work if we have clear roles for players in this platform — where publicists, managers, reporters and artists all pay their part on their lane ...

Until that happens, we here in Mzansi will continue to watch our fellow Africans do better than us even though we have the resources. 



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