By NBF News

Afro-beat, the genre of music the late Fela Anukulapo-Kuti invented and promoted to internationally, has enjoyed increasing global acceptance even after the demise of the creator in recent time.

Recently, Broadway, New York, has popularised Fela's work with its show of the life of the musical legend. Studies on the life and works of Fela are gaining more interests abroad. However, back home in Nigeria, where Fela lived and played his music, Afro-beat is on the verge of extinction.

Since his demise, there are only a handful of bands playing Afro-beat. No new band of repute (or promise) has joined the scene in the last 10 years. And if this situation is not corrected, Afro-beat may soon become music played abroad, which amounts to a big loss to Nigeria, and Africa.

On this premise, Mavina Entertainment Limited, a Lagos-based entertainment outfit, has concluded plans to introduce 'The Next Afro-beat Star', a TV musical reality talent hunt to create the next generation of Afro-beat stars that would sustain interest in this genre of music.

Speaking to newsmen during the week, Mavina's Project Director, Mr. Rotimi Adewusi, said: 'The Next Afro-beat star project aims at arousing, sustaining, and retaining interests in this genre of music.

'It is designed to run in two phases for 26 weeks, The Next Afro-Beat star begins first phase with a 13-week episodes that include regional competition and the final. This phase would be shown on some select TV networks in the country.

'The second phase would be a national tour of the top winners and some select top Afro-beat exponents.'

The man who emerges winner as the Next Afro-beat star, according to Mr. Adewusi, will smile home with cash prize, a car, a recording deal and the opportunity of an international release.

First and second runners-up will also go home with cash prizes.