THEME: Building Resilience in the Entertainment Industry as a Comparative Advantage for the Urhobo Nation

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Richard Mofe Damijo, (popularly known as RMD) is a Nigerian actor, producer, and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State. In 2005 he won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2016. He is a role model for young movie actors and producers and continues to inspire positive change.

Lead Discussants:

  • Peter Igho: A writer, broadcaster, administrator per excellence. Peter Igho, is best known for his achievements with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) where many of his produced works laid the foundation for the Nigerian film and television industry, including some of the 70’s classics like ‘Cockcrow at Dawn’, ‘Village Headmaster’, ‘Samanja’ and others. In the 2020 edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) that held on Saturday, March 14, 2020, he was celebrated with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in pioneering the transformation of the Nigerian film and television industry.
  • Rachel Oniga: She hails from Eku, Ethiope East LGA, Delta State. She worked briefly at Ascoline Nigeria Limited, a Dutch Consultant Company before her first movie titled Onome and her debut Yoruba movie was Owo Blow. Over the years, she has featured in notable Nigerian films such as Sango, a movie scripted by Wale Ogunyemi, produced and directed by Obafemi Lasode and Wale Adenuga’s television series, Super story, 30 Days in Atlanta. She is gifted, creative, skillful and talented in acting and interpretation of movie roles and can fit in any character given to her by movie directors and producers.
  • Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, professionally known as Ali Baba, is a Nigerian stand-up comedian, producer, actor and Entrepreneur. With little precedent in Nigeria for stand-up comedians, Ali Baba persevered to professionalize his skills and carve a niche as an innovator and comedian for corporate and non-corporate events and by serving as a Master of Ceremony at many events.

He supports, coaches and mentors several comedians helping to ensure that standards are maintained, and professionalism encouraged. Ali Baba has been a professional stand-up comedian for the past 30 years and has received several awards.

Moderator: Dr. Benson Uwheru, Consultant and Member, Governing Council of the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, MCIU.

The Webinar which had participants all over the world in attendance resolved as follows;

  1. The Urhobo Webinar Group as a Think-Thank of Urhobo intellectuals and professionals should constantly interrogate topical issues in Nigeria and across the globe which impinge on the Urhobo Nation; and through robust intellectual discourse make recommendations and evolve pathways and options to guide policy formulation and implementation.
  1. The timeliness of the theme of the webinar and the deliberations are relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Urhobo Land.
  1. We are struggling against an invisible enemy which is dramatically changing our lives. While the first concern is related to public health, the impact this pandemic has had and will have on the economy of the Urhobo Nation is huge especially on the Entertainment sector in Urhoboland.
  1. Urhobo Sons and Daughters should protect themselves and others from infection by washing of hands or using an alcohol-based sanitizer frequently and not touching your face including wearing of face masks in public places.

Building Resilience in the Entertainment Industry as a Comparative Advantage for the Urhobo Nation

  1. Entertainment is a powerful tool and a country’s main expressions of soft power, a country’s persuasive approach to international relations through its economic, cultural, and media influence in order to gain positive attraction
  1. Nigeria’s Entertainment and Media industry is projected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to $10.5 billion market by the end of 2023
  1. Urhoboland is blessed with abundance of distinguished professionals in various fields of human endeavour especially in the Entertainment Sector. Urhoboland has great potential to be an entertainment powerhouse.
  1. The Urhobo Nation are a very proud and enterprising people. Driven by our core values of Integrity, Entrepreneurship and Friendship; you will find the dynamic strides of our people all over Nigeria and the diaspora. We commend and celebrate all Sons and daughters of Urhoboland all over the world for their resilience through these difficult times.
  1. We remain one united and indivisible people despite the challenges facing us. All patriotic Sons and daughters, associations, groups, royal fathers and leaders of Urhobo descent must unite for the common good of Urhobo Nation. Accordingly, we must deconstruct our mindset to develop urhobocentricism and collaborate for the greater good of Urhobo Nation
  2. The Urhobos have a rich catalogue of entertainment elements ranging from Dance, Drama, Storytelling, Music, Fashion, Festivals, Folklores, Lifestyle, Humour, Intrigues, Insults, Arts Food, Cultural practices, Sports, Emcees etc.
  1. Urhobo sons and daughters are encouraged to collaborate to leverage the strengths we have in the entertainment sector and organize ourselves through strategic platforms to push the key elements that differentiate us in the industry
  1. There is need to identify institutional projects and structures that can help our entertainers to achieve their aspirations. The Urhobo Webinar Group should collaborate with other positively oriented organisations to drive implementation in this direction
  1. An inventory of all cultural and artistic traditions should be undertaken. The data should guide investors in entertainment and hospitality industries.
  1. Annual inter-kingdom cultural games should be organised to discover and train talents in the performance and creativity sections of the arts.
  1. Training centres, workshops and studios should be established to transmit the knowledge of classical art and entertainment forms and ensure that safeguarding and transmission from generation to generation.
  1. The Webinar polled participants on the topmost challenges to Entertainment Sector in Urhobo land. The polling results identified the top three challenges to include lack of leadership failure, insufficient mentoring and coaching and lack of funding/access to finance. Urhobo’s all over the world are encouraged to collaborate to identify practical solutions to overcome the identified challenges.
  1. The Entertainment sector holds the potential for more growth and presents a veritable opportunity for investors to take positions as the economy rebounds alongside an attitudinal adjustment among Nigerians as to the potentials of the sector. Potential investors in the Entertainment sector are called upon to focus on the opportunities in Urhobo land and invest in the potentials of our talented people.

Thank You

Dr. Benson Uwheru

Convener, Urhobo Global Webinar Group