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TNG Special:How Covid-19 crippled Nigeria’s entertainment industry

….Celebrities lament over lockdown

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On February 27, 2020, Nigeria recorded its first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has ravaged critical sectors globally, killed thousands and affected millions.

The country’s index case occurred in Lagos through an Italian. He was successfully treated and discharged. Thus as the cases increased, the President, Major General, Muhammadu Buhari (retd), ordered a two-week lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja and later extended it by another three weeks before easing it.

Nigerian entertainers aren’t exempted as they are lamenting over their losses and are forced to resort to live performances on social media platforms  such as Instagram and Facebook.

In an Instagram Live Video weeks back, Tiwa Savage bitterly complained about how the pandemic has affected her plans.

 

“This is a really weird time for everyone. Whether you are rich or famous; it affects everyone. It can be a little scary actually because one doesn’t know what would happen next. One doesn’t know what tomorrow brings. The coronavirus pandemic has humbled me because I had my album ready to be released. I had a lot of shows, festivals and tours lined up. All of that had to be cancelled and some postponed. We don’t know’’, when this will stop. This is despite all the plans one has already made. It definitely humbled all of us.”

 

 

On how the lockdown has affected her, Bukunmi Oluwasina, an actress said: “I hate being idle, so staying in a place for a long time doing nothing makes me sick. But all thanks to God, I have a studio in my house, so I still get to make music. And being a writer, I would have a lot of time and space to be by myself and create good stories in my head.

The only sad part is I miss being in front of the camera. Usually, I’m always on set. But aside from that, I’m not a social person. I don’t go to clubs, visit friends, or allow friends come visiting, if it’s not work-related. I love being by myself when I’m not at work. So as far as I’m concerned, I’m used to isolation. Shooting movies is the only thing missing in the picture”, she told Punch.

 

Nollywood actress and filmmaker, Funke Akindele-Bello was filming episodes of her series, which included Jenifa’s Diary, My Siblings & I, Industreets, and Omo Ghetto: The Saga when the lockdown directive was given.  In the same vein, filmmaker Emem Isong Misodi was shooting her TV series, City Crimes before the lockdown.

 

Also worthy of mention was the lack lustre Easter celebration which affected Nigerian comedians, Masters of Ceremonies’ (MCs’) and musicians  as they lost income they could have made from shows slated for that period.

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US based Nigerian singer, Seyi Sodimu over the week urged Nigeria singers to invest their money in other businesses outside showbiz

 

Citing Dr Dre, Diddy and Jay Z as examples, Sodimu said:”A word is enough for the wise. Yes it is ok to be passionate about your craft, but you need to DIVERSIFY NOW. Dr. Dre made most of his money from Beats by Dre. Diddy made most of his money from Sean Jean (fashion), Jay z made most of his money from Rocca wear (fashion), 50 cent made most of his money from Vitamin water and TV production (power) Michael Jordan is worth over $2 BILLION! Most of it from Jordan clothing. Thank me later. I am well on my way”.

 

 

 

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