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Folashade Anozie

Edi Lawani: Live entertainment during a health pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the Nigerian live entertainment sector to a standstill.

With this present reality, how can artists, creatives, and technical experts pivot in response to this new normal?

What can the Nigerian government, as well, do to help the entertainment industry?

I spoke to Edi Lawani, a well-known Nigerian show promoter, consultant, and special events producer about these and more.

Listen to the interview here

Blaqbonez: Music, Marketing, & Social Media

The health pandemic has upended the global economy. No industry has been spared including the live entertainment industry.

There’s also a steady glut of music and content that is being released by the second which has made it challenging for artists and creatives alike to stay relevant.

But Blaqbonez, a Nigerian rapper, seems to understand how to market and thrive in this new normal. I reached out to him to get some insights.

My time with Oliver Enwonwu

The last week in March and the entire month of April 2020 have been unreal. First, I hope everyone reading this is well and staying safe. It’s unfathomable (probably not for scientists and others who have been giving warnings about the real threat of a global pandemic in the 21st century) how this global pandemic has suppressed life as we know it. My thoughts and prayers remain with everyone who has lost loved ones to COVID-19. Hats off to all the essential and healthcare workers here in Nigeria and around the world who continue to go above and beyond. There are no words. Thank you. Hoping that a vaccine for this virus is found soon.

On Thursday, March 12, I arrived at the spa 45 minutes early to my appointment to avoid getting stuck in traffic due to numerous ongoing road maintenance in Lagos. My interview with Oliver Enwonwu was scheduled for 1:00pm at Omenka Gallery.

By 11:30am I was done with my makeup. I left the mainland with 1 hour and 30 minutes to spare. I put on my GPS in case I needed it and proceeded to the 3rd mainland bridge. But as I kept driving, the GPS kept redirecting me to Ikorodu Road. I found it quite odd and I wanted to ignore it because the 3rd mainland bridge usually had less traffic at this time. Furthermore, Ikorodu Road was one of the roads under maintenance which in tandem had led to absurd gridlock around that area. 

Thankfully, I decided to follow the route the GPS recommended. Saved my head! Unknown to me, the traffic on the 3rd mainland bridge was out of this world, not sure if this was due to a major accident or traffic spillover [I only got to know about the traffic when I arrived at Omenka Gallery].

After navigating Ikorodu traffic, narrowly avoiding getting apprehended by some suspicious looking plain clothes men for making a legal turn, I arrived at Omenka Gallery with 5 minutes to spare. My video editor/audio engineer and my video director immediately got out of the car to set up for the interview. 30 minutes later we were ready to go.

When Oliver came down from his office, I apologised profusely but he was kind and pleasant. Apparently some friends who were making their way to the island informed him that there was diabolical traffic on the 3rd mainland bridge. 

Sans an issue with the studio light going off for a few seconds and barking dogs interrupting the recording, the interview went well. We talked about politics, art valuation, his famous father, merchandising, and lots more. I am glad I had the opportunity to talk with him. As someone who has a limited knowledge of the art industry, the conversation was insightful and I learned a lot.

You can listen to the interview here on wherever you listen to your podcasts (Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, iHeartRadio).

I will be back with new interviews once I have transitioned to a safer recording schedule.

Be kind and stay safe.

Oliver Enwonwu: Artist, Brand Strategist & Curator

What’s the state of visual arts and artists in Nigeria? What impact does forgery have on an artist’s work? How does art valuation work?

Listen to Folashade Anozie speak with Oliver Enwonwu, a respected visual artist, brand strategist, and art administrator based in Lagos, Nigeria about all these and more.