By G9ija

Abayomi Ojo

The social media week Lagos is a leading and largest, tech, new media and conference on the continent of Africa that shares the best ideas and insights about how social media and technology has impacted top businesses in Africa and the society at large.

The keynote session titled “New Media, New Platforms & The Future of Doing Business in Africa” which took place on 27th Feb 2017 at the Landmark Convention Centre in Oniru, Lagos Lagos, had discussants who talked about how major payment technology firms have been leading this innovation in helping media businesses access cross platform technology, innovations to building industry standards.

 

social media week lagos

 

The session had panelists and discussants which include Mo Abudu – CEO Ebonylife Tv, Obi Asika – Chairman, Dragon Africa, Bolanle Austen-Peters – Managing Director, Terra Kulture, Pierre Cherrarau – Head Social media, French Embassy and Chika Nwobi – Managing Partner, L5Labs. It was moderated by Zain Verjee – CEO Akoma who highlighted how the new media is fully transforming the face of businesses in Africa.

Mo Abudu, a panelist speaking at the event said; when asked how technology has affected the entertainment industry from her perspective. She shared her views from her encounter with Fifty (A 2015 Nigerian romantic drama film produced by ebony life Tv) and The wedding party (A 2016 Nigerian romantic comedy-drama film, directed by Kemi Adetiba) “when i look at Fifty and the wedding party and how we drove the marketing and the PR I have to say yes! We did a lot of social media for Fifty but we did ten times as much for The Wedding party. We literarily had a different campaign for every single day, that was how specific we were. We packaged it up with different campaigns and different concepts; one day it could be all about the food, then it could be all about the fashion, the in-laws, the girlfriend…It was about finding the talkability. Online, it wasn’t about throwing the information out there anymore, it was about the fact that we throw something at you and ask you to share your experience with us. What was your mother in-law like ? What was your wedding day like ? Send us your wedding day pictures. So there was interaction going on with our audience at every single point in time”.

Speaking further, she stated “if I am looking at profit, then it is the wedding party but if you are looking at other elements it would be both. Because It’s like someone saying do you have a favourite child, no I don’t. I love both my children the same. Talking about Fifty, it was the first movie that we had ever done. I have never done films before. They are both two different journeys, I can’t really compare them but they both have a special place in my heart but from the business perspective. Obviously, the wedding party has done way better than fifty did”.

To content writers and producers, she also stressed the originality of our content, and telling our own stories, “Local content is winning, it is about the fact that we need to tell our stories. People want to see our stories. The content has to be about things that we can relate to, share with, things that we can talk about, it will have more impact in our lives than things foreign us and I think the growth of the movie has proven that. And even if you look at our blogs today, our most popular blogs. Even those living abroad wake up every day to visit our blogs, just to see what’s going on in this space. What’s happening with fashion, music. So these are the key touch points that I think our audiences want to be able to engage with”.

 

In addition Obi Asika noted “Our biggest export is culture – Smart phones have changed the media landscape in the nation. Our biggest export in Nigeria is culture, what we create is important and that is what will drive global success. We need to embrace things that make us different and unique, let’s own our narratives and take it globally. Our writers and creators need to act on our own culture and narrative”. –

Also speaking at the event was Bolanle Austen-Peters – Founder Terra culture who disclosed how Saro The Musical has transformed the face of the theatre space in Nigeria, “when we started the theatre, nobody believed in it, and then it started, and we were making profit. I had the opportunity to talk to the governor in that space and he was like you were creating so many jobs, and you are making so much money in this space, we have no business not having more theatres in Lagos, that is why we are building this and we are building six additional ones, also we are now renovating the national arts theatre..and it was through the initiative to start theatre on a larger scale”.

She also added African story telling is the future – Globally African stories are the future and we must make that happen because the rest of the world is out of ideas. Be excellent at anything you and don’t compromise on quality. One of these days, a Nigerian movie will win an Oscar.

Meanwhile, according to Mo Abudu from the 1st of march the wedding party will be on Netflix.  Also, a take-home point for the attendants was about The Wedding Party going to the theatre very soon.