Nigerian Entertainment Television Sucks

Nigerian Television AuthorityMost 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.

About BinoandFino

A new black cartoon made in Africa for kids all over the world.
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15 Responses to Nigerian Entertainment Television Sucks

  1. Tomi Ola says:

    I think you are in the Spirit dear author. Today, I also put up a post about Nigerian Television – “9ja TV Days of Our Lives” Your post is even in deeper details. Well done.

    • BinoandFino says:

      Hello Tomi,
      I’ve just read your post on your blog and I think you are spot on. I think I’ll update my post to link to yours as well. Also just to clarify, I didn’t write the detailed article you read. It was written by Chris Ihidero. I was going to write one and relating it to local animation production for children’s programming. But once I read his article I thought it’d be better to post a link to his for now as it talks about the general situation.

  2. Myne Whitman says:

    This is so sad. I remember as a child watching quite a number of good children’s shows, debates, tales by moonlight, quizzzes, etc.

    Let me go and read Chris’s article.

  3. Pleased there are people like you making a real effort to change things.

    • BinoandFino says:

      Thanks Karyn. There are many people doing amazing things despite the challenges. I have no idea how they do it. But it just shouldn’t be that way. It’s just another case of Nigeria shooting itself in the foot by squandering what talent and resources it has.

  4. It seems to be a common problem with many countries, especially with those finding their way post-colonisation and post-independence.

    • BinoandFino says:

      Yes indeed. The problem is that we should know better. In areas such as this we are actually going backwards whilst celebrating the fact at the same time! For example our national broadcaster now is now trying to provide cheap affordable satellite TV to the masses. What’s wrong with that right? Well the deal was done with a chinese company and most of the content is Chinese and not local. I have nothing against Chinese shows but come on!! It’s colonialism all over again but this time it’s more dangerous. We’re actually in control of selling ourselves out!

      • Are you suffering from identity crisis? We call it the cultural-cringe. We’re not British. We’re not American. We most certainly are not Australian. But we’re struggling to work out who we are as a country and where we fit in this brave new world of international commerce and cyber domination. Then sometimes there’s just idiots in government. sigh.

      • BinoandFino says:

        I think it’s even worse than identity crisis. It’s more like a weird deep seated insecurity or inferiority complex. Add to that politics of tribe, religion and selfish interests/power games then you might start to have an idea of it in my opinion. As you said the decision makers both in government and also some of the private sectors are to blame. But as they come from us, the general populace then I suppose we are to blame to a degree. One level, it’s complex on another it’s simple. The simple part is that if we don’t sort our act out soon, our country’s going to be sold out to the highest bidder and we’ll be left with nothing. We’ll just be a big African country making noise.

        I didn’t know New Zealand had those identity issues. But I can understand why.

        How did this turn into a political rant on my part?!? It’ your fault Karyn 🙂

  5. We have the same deep seated sense of insecurity and inferiority complex. On an individual level it’s called the Tall-Poppy syndrome, where we all apparently want to do well, but are exceptionally rude to anyone who actually does do well – unless they bend over backwards to prove they are still down-to-earth and very humble. Let’s blame the British.

    • BinoandFino says:

      Yeah let’s blame the British! 🙂 Actually in the Nigerian context that’d be letting us off the hook too easy. We are or we Should be in control of our own destiny now. Interesting point regarding the Tall Poppy Syndrome. I can’t speak for all Nigeria but our society tends to respect power and money by default. People might complain about rich, powerful ones but on the flipside if you are humble and just getting on with it the same people think you’re useless and don’t take you seriously. I’ve experienced this first hand in countless meetings and interactions. We can’t seem to make our minds up. Humans…we’re crazy.

  6. Shadenonconformist says:

    Oh wow! This is so weird and random. I kid you not, after reading the excellent article from Mr Ihidero a few months ago, i was inspired and created a “blog draft” about this same topic. But i just haven’t had the chance to blog about it because i’ve been pre-occupied. Bleh!

    The gods of Nigerian programming for children are definitely not crazy:) They sure aren’t happy with the way things are going.

    Gone are the days of educational, yet fun programs like Tales by moonlight, Speak out, Voltron, Spartacus, Captain Planet to name a few . Such a damn shame.

    Enough said——>: “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… 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.”

    Great post.

    • BinoandFino says:

      Hi Shadenonconformist,
      I agree with you. I’m looking forward to your blog post when you get around to doing it. I can feel people are starting to get sick of all this as they are realising that media is a very important area that should not be neglected. The situation we have on hand especially at the NTA is ridiculous. I have friends who work at the NTA so I’m not saying the people aren’t there who could do the right thing. In fact a lot of them are demoralised from what I can see.

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