—By Cletus George
This is an industry of exclusive and particular significance. It is the only industry of forever appreciating value. It is the unique industry in creation that generates products that constitute the first love of God, music. Its products are at the base of many other industries and offer support to practically all other industry.
Economic Significance And Corporate Terminology Challenges
Entertainment is a primary industry of particular importance at the base of modem economy and Africa and Nigeria developing economy needs to take particular note of that. Expert estimates point at entertainment as Africa’s immediate greatest reservoir of wealth and immediate mass employment opportunities. It is evident that it is ironically underrated in favor of other industries of lesser value, due to inadequate knowledge base on the exploitation principles and business aspects. Being basically talent based rather than formal education driven, it is obviously the industry to look to for mass employment opportunities for the teeming African youth.
Terminology is most sensitive in addressing entertainment at international level platforms, institutions and organizations.
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Trip wires of inappropriate jargon quickly end project engagement when dealing with computer systems and institutions. The wrong heading/title in a vast organization such as the world bank diverts the document to the wrong desk and that is the end of attention. Nobody has the time to waste on a document at the wrong destination, or literature suggesting inadequate expertise in the subject matter. Such specificities as are about to be presented in this discourse with regards to what is commonly referred to as the Entertainment Industry, is only available in international expert forums/workshops and seminars on the sector, so particular attention is called for.
The term Entertainment in international best practices, refers to every revenue and incomes yielding activity having to do with relaxation, leisure, distraction, amusement or bodily enhancement of the human person: music, movies, dance, drama, fashion, fine arts, ornamental crafts, creative literature, culture, beauty, media, multimedia, hospitality, tourism and sports, are subsectors clustered under the title Entertainment industry because they all derive revenues from relaxation and leisure services.
Looking at the broad spectrum of business activities and occupations listed under the Entertainment Industry in international best practices, it becomes obvious that there are several giant industries in their own individual right in the cluster. This is as conformed to international best practices in industry clustering for project occupations such as financing, referencing, international business literature, business writing, business sector budgets, business funding, foreign investment promotion, and all industry referencing and research. It immediately becomes obvious why entertainment/leisure industry is a primary focus and reference in every advanced economy. In the USA and European economies, entertainment is always a primary factor in GDP and other economic parameters.
On the other hand, in economic discourses within African and other developing economies, entertainment is understood as a reference strictly limited to music, dance and movies. Sports is not seen as entertainment and hardly as business; culture is not linked to entertainment, tourism is an individual sector far from entertainment and all of the others; hospitality is an apart industry and so are media, multimedia etc. To worsen matters, entertainment is often said to be under Tourism! All these represent outrageous errors in economic discourse that simply shock international experts to silence and quiet departure.
There are, however, some prominent examples on media activities that immediately demonstrate the true facts of the entertainment industry clustering in advanced economies. The American entertainment industry is collectively referred to as Hollywood and never invites any splintering except within the local context. The Indian entertainment industry is referred to internationally as Bollywood. But in Nigeria, Nollywood refers strictly to the Nigerian movie industry and none other, both locally and internationally, and any attempt to stretch it to include any other leisure sector is immediately debunked, firmly rejected, ridiculed and truncated! Wow! What a costly dis alignment from and disregard for international norms! The result is automatic isolation from the rest of the parallel business world, blindly abandoning advantages of international trade and huge benefits therein! International business positioning, rights and performance channels and host of other socio-economic opportunities are in one stroke of conceited ignorance, thrown out the window, with far-reaching business and economic implications!
How on earth does one then relate with other parallel industry, across the world, when our structural understanding and terminology is so distant from the norm? We see our industry only in fragmented individual splinters of limited significance, while the world funds, invests and organizes on the collective principle! We obviously should seek to align with the world and not the other way around. Terminology disparity and noncompliance is a principal characteristic of perpetually underdeveloped economy. Due to established mindset and consequent rooted systems decades old, it is very difficult to undo and move forward even with the overriding benefits in view.
The Case of Truncation of Nigeria’s Entertainment Industry
This is one of the greatest tragedies in our economy that has so far refused to budge in Nigeria industry, due to knowledge disconnect but also further implanted by abusive vested interests established on the fragmented frame at the perpetual expense of the collective and national economy. This is, more often, the case in underdeveloped economies and is the reason they remain perpetually stunted.
The result is discouragement of higher international and local partnerships and investments required for mega industry involvement. No one but Nigeria can even begin to understand the issues and terminology of our industry nor the origin nor basis of our psychology!
The Nigeria entertainment industry is actually estimated to be second largest in the world after Hollywood in actual commercial value. All the same, the industry stakeholders remain relatively poor, while the obvious wealth seems invisible and unreachable. Some of the visible effects is the perennial embarrassing parade of prominent practitioners and stakeholders in this wealthy industry that die poor and miserable without a ready saving hand. This is all due to absence of industry finishing structure and by extension, economy structural finishing.
The world stands by in consternation and disbelief as Nigeria’s great reservoir of talents wastes away and the population wallows in poverty! Same devastating scenario plays out in the music industry that is now a world beater but having petty impact on the economy and the art. Our artistic prowess is intimidating but with massive volumes of revenues and rights money diverted to strange pockets and perennially abandoned to users and commercial interests across the world, for lack of appropriate structural connectivity for access to rights and royalty payments amounting to billions of dollars annually.
Obviously, the world loves it better that way. If the foundations are scattered, what can the righteous do? My people perish for lack of knowledge! The sooner we formalize our economy and put the finishing structures in place, the better for our economy and prosperity. Life in Nigeria can be much more beautiful and prosperous for every citizen at the press of a few buttons.