My name is UCHE AGBO and I have been distraught since the news broke a few days ago that Amazon Prime significantly reduced commissioning and originals’ budget in Africa.

The news also stated that most of Nigeria and South Africa original Executives have been laid off.

Contrary to the earlier speculations that Amazon Prime is exiting the African Market, they would continue to acquire African contents, just not going to invest as much as previously projected. This obviously is hope shortlived for many film producers.

Howbeit, this has generated a lot of discussions in many quarters. A few Industry stakeholders have lend their voices by releasing statements. Remarkably amongst them is Mo Abudu, the CEO of Ebony Life Media, and she didn’t mince words in expressing dissatisfaction on how these streaming giants treat African market.

Understandly so, most businesses are for-profit ventures and one wants to make profit to remain in business. Regrettably, Nigerians subscribing to these platforms are about 5% of the population and it only make business sense to cut cost and invest where more revenues are generated. Some others wait for pirated links on Telegrams to see the same movie these streaming giants invest hundreds of millions to make.

What concerns me most actually is that industry leaders, guild leaderships aren’t releasing statements and taking a position. One would expect the various Producers’ Associations that are majorly affected as funders of the industry to take a stand and voice same.

We must grow the balls to demand some considerations by these entrants into our market. Otherwise, others coming would continue to see us as beggars who don’t have much negotiation powers.

The African market and indeed the economy is a growing one and is projected to become the largest economy in the world by 2050. This projection may not hold water if various and critical stakeholders keep quite when certain adverse decisions such as this are made with no notice or consideration.

For me, Africa and Nigeria in particular must look for an inward solution to its revenue generation issues. We must look inward to build a more lasting solution. We have to look at AFROCENTRICSM as our hall mark of foreign policy.

Industry stakeholders must take a leave from the whole infights and really focus on what is important which is demanding a seat on the table to make our demands.

While at it, I would advise Producers to realize that every film must not be a big budget. Think of strategic theatre releases in select cinemas, Campus Tour movies, YouTube, the TV market across Africa and the likes. Consider crowd-funding to lesson the burden of individual investments and look more into pitching to investors to invest in other critical developmental needs of the industry other than Productions. Like investing in Village Cinemas, designed for low income earners, training facilities and chains of alternative exhibitions platforms.

Once again, my name is UCHE AGBO and I just want to share my thoughts on the burning issue.

Uche Agbo is a Nollywood Filmmaker and Public Affairs Analyst.

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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