Nigerian Broadcaster seeks UK’s partnership in creative industry

UK-based broadcaster and ardent promoter of Afrobeat in the diaspora, Olajide Adesope, has called on the United Kingdom government to collaborate with its Nigerian counterpart and multilateral organisations to provide support for both the established and up and coming creatives in Nigeria.

Adesope made the call  recently at the UK parliament when he met select members of the parliament on foreign affairs, alongside Afrobeats star, Patoranking to discuss the impact of Afrobeats on the Nigerian economy; the challenges, barriers and what the British government could do .

”One of the most significant challenges facing creatives working really hard in Nigeria is the paucity of funds,” he said. Hence advocating the need to provide funding support for them.

“We are looking at funding for a lot of the creatives in Nigeria that are creating music; we are looking at partners in international funding organisations that invest in the creative industry,” he said.

Adesope, whose passion has grown beyond the African soil, noted, “The lack of structure and protection for intellectual property is another huge barrier Afrobeats musicians in Nigerian currently face. Live performance has been a channel that has helped them make a living from their hard work, but a lot of hoops and red tapes have not allowed them to maximise the vibrant African diaspora community in the United Kingdom.

“If the UK government can also take the time to just look into the red tapes and hoops to make it a lot more accessible for a wide range of creatives from Nigeria, that would be very helpful,” he said.

He observed that information and education could help Afrobeats artists in the country know how to protect their intellectual property and make more money from their works.

“We need information and education as I mentioned earlier. I was part of the team that went to Nigeria with support from the UKTI to teach some of the Nigerian musicians how to maximise their income out of their creativity and also the partners and the international organisations they can register with to protect their rights worldwide.

“So, education and information would also be very important with that. I mentioned earlier that the live industry is a massive part of promoting music around the world. The Nigerian creatives have been successful in getting out on social media and promoting their music digitally, but we know, to sustain and grow bigger, artistes have to come into countries like the United Kingdom where there is a vibrant African diaspora community to come and perform to them live.”

He continued: “It would be helpful for the Foreign Office in the UK to engage the Foreign Office in Nigeria. The time you’ve taken out to speak to us about Afrobeats, music and all, is hugely appreciated and we’d appreciate it even more if you could engage the Foreign Office in Nigeria to take their time out and look at this genre that’s now become a revelation around the world.”

Reacting, singer Patoranking said, “We’d want the government to come in with information and learning, create policies, invest in arts. If the UK government could create funding for other issues in Nigeria, I think it would be very nice if they could create funding for arts which is one of the biggest exports now.”





Guardian/Hauwa Abu

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