CRAYON, DON JAZZY AND THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY
In the last few days the new kid on the entertainment block, Crayon, has kept me entertained. His song So Fine has been a reoccurring sound in my head. His Clarence Peters shot music video is so visually appealing, I have watched it more than 10 times. And as I watch, I am increasingly impressed with the progress of the Nigerian entertainment industry. I wish other sectors of our polity has made similar progress.
While trying to know more about Crayon, I saw a Facebook post that talked about former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s government grant to the entertainment industry and that within 4 years he established more than 8 Federal Universities in the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria. And within that time Muhammadu Buhari has succeeded in not only destroying the economic gains of the last “corrupt” administration, he is about to install one of the most corrupt government in the history of Nigeria with his list of new ministers.
And I concluded that all well meaning Nigerians must plan their lives as if government does not exist if the Election Tribunal does not return Buhari to Daura. Because from the last four years and before he became president, Buhari has shown that his support, sympathy and supply of government funds and key appointments lies with Fulanis, corrupt politicians and Boko Haram. Those who are still in doubt about the fact that Buhari is the worst Nigerian president yet, are to say the least schizophrenic.
Crayon’s identity was a difficult nut to crack. Most websites were in the dark about who he is. From his age to ethnicity, they only had scanty details about him. My perseverance paid off after visiting a handful of websites. Crayon’s real name is Charles Chibueze Chukwu. He is 24 years old. He is from Ebonyi State but grew up in Lagos. He was officially signed to Blowtime Entertainment and Mavin Records on 31 May 2019.
I want to congratulate the ceo of Mavin Records, Don Jazzy for keeping the flag flying and for giving us the many hits we have enjoyed from Dbanj to Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, Korede Bello and now Crayon. He deserves accolades. However, his wings have been losing beautiful and strong feathers. His stars have been looking elsewhere to find better deals and often coming out from such deals empty handed.
The Dbanj debacle is a classical case of how foreign greener pasture for musician can be a mirage. Since his divorce from Mohits and Don Jazzy, hits have eluded the Koko master. He has struggled to re-enact his hay days, but they seem to have gone forever with no long thing. Tiwa Savage has followed a somewhat similar path. And as I listen to Crayon and the amazing prospect that lies ahead for him, I hope he will not be mismanaged.
I use the word mismanaged because leaders must take responsibility for the outcomes and behaviour of their wards. Don Jazzy, I believe is a gifted music producer, talent manager and businessman. So far, he has shown his dexterity only in music production. He has not done excellently well as far as talent management is concerned. I urge him and other music label owners like Olamide, Wizkid, Davido and Kenny Ogungbe to learn from their past.
Talent management is not an easy task, but it is not rocket science. Record label owners and management should seek knowledge and expertise from other record label owners and organizations that have kept their stars happy and committed to their label endlessly.
The Nigerian entertainment industry is one of our few hopes for economic progress for now. Buhari has been the Petroleum Minister, and his cluelessness and illiteracy can hardly produce anything good. Ibe Kachikwu who we unfortunately thought could be courageous and do something with his education and experience has been used, abused and disgraced out of office as Petroleum Minister for state. Hence, we need the Don Jazzys of the entertainment industry to get their act right because the nation’s greatest resource is human resources.
A Muslim friend once said that Nigeria export three things to Africa and indeed the world: music, movies and churches. The first two are great for the Nigerian economy and stakeholders like Stand-up comedian turned movie actor and producer, AY, must continually innovate. Our teeming youth are looking for opportunities to invest their time and talents. We must not let them down.
So, I call on Nigerian youths to discover, develop and deploy their God given talents. They should search for or create avenues to use their talents. They should volunteer their skills in non-profit organizations without focusing on fame and fortune but on refining their craft. The internet is an infrastructure they must master and take advantage of, by creating whatever their giftings inspire them to create to a worldwide audience fearlessly.
The Church, though experiencing crisis of credibility by the failure of the clergy, is still a wonderful place to develop your talents. A great percentage of American stars got their act right in the church. Join the choir to develop your music skills. Join the youth fellowship to develop your leadership skills. Join Sunday School teachers to develop your public speaking. Join the drama group to develop your acting. And most importantly be diligent, focused and sincere in your service delivery in whatever organization or department you choose to serve.
Dream big and work big to become the best you could possibly be. Get a mentor and role model. A mentor is someone you have a one-on-one with who have excelled in your area of interest. A role model can be dead or alive, you don’t necessarily have to be in contact with them. So, be patient, loyal and follow their guidance. And fame and fortune will flow ceaselessly as you pay the price called discipline.
Ata Ukuta – editor, www.towncryyers.com