A filmmaker, Bolanle Austen-Peters, has revealed that Afrobeats artistes, Wizkid, Ice Prince, Wande Coal, and one other performed at her event for a combined fee of N250,000.
She spoke at The Platform, an annual programme put together by The Covenant Place on Monday tagged ‘Africa Rising Continent: Nigeria’s Strategic Role’ at the Iganmu area of Lagos.
Mrs Austen-Peters commended the youth for exporting the Nigerian brand to the global stage using creativity, innovation and arts.
“I remember 13 years ago, I had a party and I invited the Mo Hits crew. I’m sure some of you know them. They came with four artistes —Wizkid, Ice Prince, Wande Coal, and one more person,” she said.
“Guess how much I paid 13 years ago, N250,000 for all of them.
“Today, I dare not even ask that they come and play for me. The beauty of our youths is that they have been able to transform their talents into wealth and that is something that is commendable and that we all need to start understanding.”
She also said that some years ago, the movie industry was at the backseat but the story has changed and that movies made by Nigerians are sought after worldwide.
She said, “There is a lot to celebrate and there is a lot for us to want to fix.”
Comparing the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria, she said the former is “where we should be headed as a people.”
“Recently, as a fellow of MIT, I got the opportunity to go on a leadership course that took me to different countries. And in the course of that journey, we started to understand why certain ecosystems work and some don’t work,” she recounted.
“During that journey, we went to the grand mosque in Abu Dhabi and to my surprise I was told that prayers are being said 365 days a year, seven days a week for the founder of the United Arab Emirates.”
The award-winning movie producer said that the reason prayers were observed for the founder of UAE is because “in less than 60 years, this man has been able to transform the destiny of his people and the nation from being a rural backward country to becoming an advanced economy, a business destination and a tourist centre.
She said that the country was developed about the same time Nigeria got its independence.
She wondered how they did it and why we are not able to replicate such development in Africa and Nigeria especially.
She said that the founder of UAE had a vision for the country.
“What is Nigeria’s vision?” she asked. “We have had Vision 2020 but in reality can we articulate our vision as a people?”
She noted that one of the factors that make a nation successful is an effective and efficient government that creates an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to thrive.
She also said that the UAE looked away from its oil resources and changed its strategy to focus on innovation and knowledge acquisition.
She also said that the future is no longer about “what you have in the ground as natural resources.”
“It is about what our imagination can give to us as a people and our ability to implement that, design it and bring it to fruition and that is what is driving the rest of the world today.”
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