IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE NIGERIAN MUSICAL VIDEOS — IKPE
Consistence is the key word they say that have sustained most successful businesses. But in the case of Cally Ikpe creator of the Da New Live Beat, the nation's longest lasting entertainment programme on TV, its taken more than that to keep the programme on air.
The Benue State born presenter shares with us the secret of his success and also reveals why he decided it is time to celebrate Nigerian produced musical videos.
How long ago was it you had your 10th anniversary?
That was 2005. So by October later this year, Da New Live Beat will be twelve.
So how has it been?
Since our tenth year anniversary, things have never been the same. We have moved into very serious reckoning. It was as if 'they' were waiting for the tenth anniversary to happen before those goodies were released. But I must say that things have only moved one way ever since, and that way is upward.
I remember that then it was a very thin line. Then it was like, it either worked or failed in the nick of that situation. I remember we were under pressure to call off the show because of the census. We were not mindful of the census exercise before we fixed the date but there was nothing we could do. I decided we were not going to call it off. We went on. But I know that if we had failed, we would have most likely gone under and it would have been the end of Da New Live Beat.
So how did you make it work?
It was not me, it was God essentially using the many people that we worked with. From the members of the organising committee to the camera everybody was very optimistic and dogged about working. Even the media committee members believed that the date should not be shifted and on that day I was overwhelmed by what happened.
What exactly do you mean by goodies?
I mean adverts. That's what you expect when you're running a television show. Now I'm having adverts far more than I anticipated and at rates that we want them to run and I'm very comfortable with that. The paying attitude of clients in Nigeria is not very good, it is something we really have to bother about especially if we have to preserve this industry for the younger ones. It is very condemnable.
What will you say have kept you this long in this line of business?
That's because I have never contemplated plan B, it's either Da New Live Beat or nothing. I have always believed that it just must work. It must work since God gave me the vision. I'm very clear about it. I know it could go through hard times here and there but I knew that eventually when the time comes, we'll begin to reap.
Can you compare the quality of videos produced today to those produced years back?
There has been a considerable improvement in picture quality as regards music video production in Nigeria.
We started from almost a zero situation. By that I mean an era when we tried to juxtapose music videos as produced by Nigerians and those of their international counterparts. Then it was a pity doing so unlike a situation where now, the videos are played side by side and sometimes we even outdo them in terms of concept and even equipment. Now you watch the international channels and see the chart system. There's a Nigerian produced music video occupying number one position and then an American's occupying number two or three. I thank God that we've been around long enough to see the music revolution happen. We're savouring it now and I'm most proud of it.
What will you say contributed to the improvement of the audio and picture quality?
I will say Nigerians decided to embrace the challenges, they rose up to it and are still rising up to it. That is what principally did it. They realised that they were just starting as compared to what was going on globally. People decided to get radical. Even people who did not have prior knowledge of production went in, caught the bug and employed the radicalism to it and it worked. So it's the doggedness, the fighting spirit of Nigerians. The will to be counted among equals and even placed above them is what has worked for us.
Then considerably the Nigerian music presenters have been unanimous in projecting the Nigerian thing and to a very considerable extent too.
Why did you decide to go into the Nigerian Music Video Awards?
I was just telling you a while ago that the music video revolution has occurred in Nigeria and Cally Ikpe has been there long enough to see how it started, what it went through and how we've been able to conquer and there is no better time than now to begin to celebrate this and the best way to do so is by hosting the first ever Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA). This is because we believe we can proudly ask anyone, even from out of space, that 'come around and see how our music videos are done' and they will come and not be disappointed.
What inspired you to bring up this idea?
Principally, I want to celebrate the NMVA because I believe we are heading in the right direction and there is need to encourage a lot of people to do more hard work and get a lot better. So in other words, this is an attempt to stamp out mediocrity and encourage creativity. That's why we are doing this.
Some people may want to know why a T.V presenter should organise an awards ceremony?
No, this is not about Cally Ikpe. I am just coordinating and I'm in a very good position to do so considering my pedigree. Cally Ikpe can never do a successful music video awards but can coordinate a successful music video awards. What I mean by this is that no single individual can organise a successful show. I believe this is about the stakeholders; the industry players. It's about the entertainment writers, disc jockeys and broadcasters coming together to do a show with Cally Ikpe coordinating. It's about the industry and Nigerians. What I desire for this event is a situation where even if Cally is no longer interested in it anymore, it will still go on.
Do you think this is an appropriate time to have this awards?
We have gone past ten years of observing development in Nigerian music videos. It is a good way to cap the revolutions that have happened these years and how else do you celebrate when you know that a music video awards have never been held before in this country. And now we are coming with a completely Nigerian one. This is not about Lagos state.
And the process of selection?
Majority of it will come from all stakeholders and contributors from across the federation and all geographical zones, such that if we say this is what somebody has won, it is verifiable. You can carry out your independent investigation and you'll find out that it is true. I know that one can not be 100% objective, but a good measure of diplomacy would have been employed in making our judgements.
I know our records are not that complete yet but at least there is a good measure from which we can tap from. Besides it is not in my hands to decide who gets what. It is in the hands of the organising committee and the panel of judges who will decide. From the onset, it has been established that Cally can not impose anything on them because he's coordinating. It is going to be very plain and democratic.
When is the ceremony coming up?
In the last Sunday of November this year.
How many categories are we looking at?
I can't really recall now. I think its about 21 categories but that is subject to ramification by the general house, that is to say the organising committee. Cally will only share his vision, then the committee will decide on what is right.