Traditional Music and Dance

The development of modern music and dance had their foundation or origins in the traditions of the various communities in Nigeria. Different communities are known to have their music and dance forms, which they use for entertaining themselves and important guests. Every occasion or event attracts its own form of music. There is music for entertaining workmen on farms drums, especially with a double membrane, on hollow wood produce the music and are supported by the gong, horns and trumpets. There is music for the naming ceremony, the installation of kings and burials. Both genders are involved, cutting across generations. For example, the Idoma of Benue state, have the “Ajah”, Oghrinye, Odumu and Ichicha to mention a few.

Their Tiv neighbours have the Swange and Kwagh-hir; Atilogu and Nkponkiti are common in the southeast; Sakara, Bata, Sato, Ponse, Yemoja, and Gelede, is popular in the southwest; while Chalawa, Dabe, Goje hold sway in the northeast and northwest respectively; and Igbabo is well known in Edo State (south-south region).

Nigeria is famous for its English language literature, apart from the English language being its international language, pidgin is also a lingua franca that was common among illiterates and street touts who cannot speak formal English but nowadays everybody including the rich and the poor, the literates and the illiterates all speak Pidgin English which is a picture of English and other slang like ‘How you dey’ instead of ‘How are you’ and its popular music. Since the 1990s the Nigerian movie industry, sometimes called “Nollywood” has emerged as a fast-growing cultural force all over the continent. All over the country, and even increasingly in the conservative north, western music, dresses and movies are ever popular.

Entertainment Industry, Nollywood and Nigerian music.

Nollywood emerged in 1992 and quickly imposed itself as one of the world’s largest film industries. Today, it comes just behind “Hollywood and “Bollywood”, American and Indian film industries respectively. It is a unifying brand for practitioners in scripting, directing, sound, High Definition (HD) techniques, acting, cinematography, make-up, editing, etc. in Nigeria, Nollywood is the Nigerian national movie industry articulated around a few major production centres like Lagos, Onitsha, Enugu, Asaba and Abuja. The distribution of the films also hinges on these same production centres as well as other major distribution points in Nigeria such as Aba.

The movie “Living in Bondage” by Mr. Kenneth Nnebue was the bold step that made a journey of a million miles worth embarking upon. Today, looking behind its trailblazing achievements, Nollywood with its sister – Nigerian Music Industry, is proud to take the world stage, by identifying its relevance and essence in filling the gap created by the dearth of quality productions in the local television channels and radio stations, Nollywood has established itself as a major cultural and economic force in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. The entertainment industry which they constitute accounted for over 1.4% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013 and this figure is fast growing.

Nollywood today boasts an impressive number of star actors and actresses as well as film producers. Suffice it to mention a few names as examples: Pete Edochie, Olu Jacobs, Nkem Owoh (alias Osuofia or Ukwa), Segun Arinze, Francis Duru, the famous duo Chidi Ikedieze and Osita Iheme, Desmond Eliot, Emeka Ike, Ojoho Ouafor, etc. are among the outstanding actors, while actresses who have become familiar household names include Patience Uzokwor, Rita Dominic, Genevieve Nnaji, Ini Edo, Omotala J. Ekeinde, Ngozi Ezeonu, Mercy Johnson, Stephanie Okereke Linus, Funke Akindele, Uche Jumbo, Joke Silva etc.

The music fact of the entertainment industry has waxed relatively strong, expanding year after year, turning in billions of naira to the economy. There is no gainsaying the fact that music is part of our every- day life and, more or less, an integral part of visual and audio media productions, including soundtracks in both local and foreign movies. With an apparently inexhaustible stream of talents and the capacity to innovate, the Nigerian music industry can neither be hindered by economic depression nor lack relevance.

Nigerian music has the necessary resources to rule the airwaves of not only Nigeria but also the length and breadth of Africa and the world at large. It is noteworthy that the number of stakeholders in the Nigerian music business is ever-increasing. The stakeholders include artistes, musicians, producers, promoters, managers, distributors, marketers, etc. In the past six years, interestingly, the growing numbers of new production studios and artistes springing up have paved way for a more vibrant and self-sustaining industry. A lot of Nigerian artistes are already enjoying cooperate sponsorship for their unique talents and achievements. Some have recorded landmark albums sale, sometimes running into hundreds of thousands of copies.
Others have won prestigious awards in international contests and events, hence attracting more and more investments from very many sources. The investments have no doubt aided the production of world-class quality music as a result of innovations in sounds, rhythms and recording techniques Pace-setters, Nigerian musicians have developed a vast spectrum of music genres, blending hip-hop, rap, rhythm and blues, reggae, gospel, etc. with traditional Nigerian beats and instruments. Some of the popular names include 2-Face Idibia, P- Square, Davido, Timaya, Tiwa Savage, M.I, Bracket, Olamide, Flavour, Wizkid, D’Banj, Kcee, Asa, Skales, Don Jazzy, MC Galaxy, Yemi Alade, Patoranking, etc. A good number have also made names in Gospel music: Chris Morgan, Panam Percy Paul, Yinka Ayefele, Frank Edward, Sinach etc.

Stand-up Comedians on the Rise

Stand-up comedians have come to complete Nigeria’s entertainment landscape. They distil humour and jokes inspired by the everyday life experience of Nigerians to a wide variety of audiences, through direct stage shows or recorded VCD/DVDs, in English or Nigerian Pidgin. Among the most popular of these highly talented comedians are: I go dye, Gordons, Klint d’drunk, Basketmouth, AY, Lepasious Bose, Funny Bone, Akpororo, Seyi Law, Bovi, Helen Paul, Chi-girl, etc.

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