By Aderonke Ojediran
Some entertainers at the just concluded Nigeria Entertainment Conference (NECLive) on Saturday urged all Nigerians to be a change agent for a better society.
Entertainment and technology professionals who convened for the eighth season of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NECLive) deliberated on how and what will shape the entertainment industry in the future.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the ninth edition of NECLive themed: “ Sustaining the African Momentum,” was held at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The entertainers said at the event that all hands must be on deck for a better Nigeria.
The Convener, Kunle Ayeni, in his address, said that the entertainment industry has what it takes to chart a new course for the country.
Ayeni said that watching Burna Boy performance at the Madison Square, was a reminder that entertainment industry has what it takes to chart a course.
“This concert is big for Africa and for America but I want you to understand that African have huge population, our success in entertainment should translate into economic buoyancy.
“The first time I heard Asa play at a mall, I was so excited but now it’s like a norm, we are the change that we hope to see, and I want us to pause smell the roses and clap for ourselves,” he said.
The keynote speaker, Debo Adebayo, popularly know as Mr Macaroni, urged entertainers to use their voice as a tool for change as much as they can, the Soro soke (speak up) movement
“This conference is to help us talk about the problems that we face as a nation and proffer possible solutions.
“Soro soke influencing, using entertainment to drive development holistically, it is our collective responsibility to use our talents to influence a better Nigeria, the change starts with us.
“No matter what you do, you have a role to play, find your niche, and effect change in your little corner and watch it blossom,” Macaroni said.
According to him, there is a burden on artistes to cause change with their crafts and be influenced by happening in the country.
“There is now a burden on artists in the industry to cause change with their crafts. The environment cannot be burning and artistes are not able to drive change with their individual talents. Functioning artistes should be influenced by happenings in society,” he said.
Macaroni said that advocacy was not just for celebrities and urged the youths to use their social media handles for positivity and not to troll.
“ Everyone has the power, it depends on how you have decided to use yours, build your brand, talk about issues that affect your community, you never can tell whois watching and where succour will come from.
“Stop wasting your time trolling people, if your argument cannot be constructive leave it, we need to learn the power of speaking out constructively,” he said
Also speaking, former Big Brother Naija star, Leo Dasilva, stressed the need to use entertainment as an agent of change.
“ When I put out a tweet people comprehend based on their understanding, their experiences; there’s so much you can do with your platform no matter how little.
“No matter what you are doing to impact change, focus on it, get the attention of your immediate community and I can tell you the impact will be felt by the most relevant people in your life,” Dasilva said.
Also sepaking, Tunde Onakoya, founder of Chess in Slums Africa, said : “Building a country of our dream will be easy when we all have a role to play.
“I engaged these so called Area Boys when I was training the boys to play chess and they delivered well.
“Going to these slums to give them biscuits and chocolate will not change their likes, it won’t make any impact, our leaders need to do better.
“All through the time we were at the dreaded Oshodi, not even a pencil was stolen, probably because they felt included; policy makers should make more provisions for them, we all have a role to play,” Onakoya said.
NAN reports that there was a musical break, which was dedicated to the memory of the late Olanrewaju Fasasi popularly known as Sound Sultan.
Innocent Idibia, popularly know as Tuface, gave an emotional rendition, the artist stopped halfway as his emotion got the best of him.
Also, members of the cast and crew of Showmax biggest show “The Real Housewives of Lagos” led by one of the Executive Directors, Dare Art Alade, commended Nigerians for their support.
Alade said that the selection process was carefully thought through and that he was impressed with the acceptance by the general public going by the number of downloads and streams.
“At Livespot Production, we were deliberate to make it authentic, to make it Nigerian without losing the international appeal, have great personalities, great character and be able to showcase Lagos.
“We reached out to 40 people, in other climes auditions were done but we realise that it might not work, so we decided to reach out to specific people, we started toying with mixing things up,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)