Corona virus aka COVID-19 has hit the African continent, and needless to say, it is having a detrimental impact, primarily economically, on its citizens. Also, like their Western and Asian counterparts, many African leaders have begun implementing measures to protect their citizens including shelter-in-place/lockdown orders, closing borders to trade and travel from countries most affected by the virus, creating health campaigns to raise awareness on how to prevent the virus, among other things.
Uniquely placed in the middle of the COVID-19 situation is Africa’s entertainment industry which was just getting its bearings, and making its way onto the global map. For example, in the music industry, most of Africa’s entertainers still rely primarily on live shows/concerts for income. So, the obvious question becomes, how are many of Africa’s leading industry names and businesses in the entertainment industry processing this pandemic? What do lockdown situations look like for those in a country like Nigeria, Africa’s largest entertainment industry? Does the COVID-19 situation strengthen the long held belief on the continent that entertainment is a cultural experience, rather than business. If so, what is the impact on its industry professionals?
One name that right off the bat began delving into answers for some of the questions I pose above has been Ubi Franklin, a music business owner, former talent manager, investor and mentor. Ubi has conducted interviews for over two weeks, with some of Nigeria and Africa’s biggest superstars about the COVID-19 issue and the business of entertainment.
He has also set up a Shark Tank like show titled ‘The Pitch with Ubi Franklin’ on Instagram Live in which he has listened to many pitches from emerging business owners and distributed thousands of Naira, through sponsorship monies received from investors, to the winning recipients.
Watch a sample of some of his interviews with Nigeria and Africa’s leading musicians and promoters. Share with others and leave your comments on your take on some of my questions.
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