Most of Nigeria’s TV output is rubbish. Especially for children. For a country with such cultural diversity, folklore and modern stories I just don’t understand why. It wasn’t always this way. But things have deteriorated rapidly in the past few years. Of course there are exceptions and there are some good TV shows out there. But with skilled technicians in the broadcasting field plus the fact we also have Africa’s largest government television network, the current situation is almost criminal. It’s not like we don’t have the talent.
The organisations themselves are lacking the vision to invest and create high quality local content. I’m not talking about franchises such as Big Brother, The Apprentice, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire etc. When you now apply this to the production of quality children’s animation that portrays our culture then we are in serious trouble in this country. Because proper animation production is something that takes years of long term investment to get right. If we don’t have TV stations or companies willing to invest in live action programming then you can imagine what the initial outlook is for Nigeria’s fledgling animation sector. More importantly how this impacts on our children’s education both social and academic.
I was actually going to write a blog post about the current situation. However I came across a piece by Chris Ihidero and he’s done a much better job than I ever could. Read the article here at Nigerian Entertainment Today. He breaks down the overall challenges facing TV content producers in Nigeria. Below is an exerpt.
‘I do not know how advertising agencies do business with radio and television stations elsewhere in the world, so I shall not be making global comparisons here. However, I have a strong feeling that you will travel very far before you encounter anything close to what obtains in Nigeria and I make bold to say that advertising agencies are a major part of the reason why there’ll be crap on Nigerian television for a long time. It may interest you to know, for instance, that for each sixty second advert worth about N8, 000 you hear on radio, the radio station will end up getting just about 55-60% of that figure. Volume discount (about 20%) and agency commission (also about 20%) will be deducted from source. I will say nothing of under-hand dealings that will get you the adverts in the first place, or what you may need to pay some brand managers or other ‘powerful’ people along the way.’
Update: Here’s another article on the same issue but written from a different angle by Tomi Ola here.