Ahead of the 15th Headies, Governor BabajideSanwo-Olu hosted the cream of the crop of Nigerian entertainment, including nominees, last week at the State House, Marina.
It was an evening of glee and renewed assurances last Saturday when Lagos State Governor BabajideSanwo-Olu hosted Nigerian entertainers at the State House, Marina.
The event tagged ‘The Lagos Constellation of Stars’ was in support of the 15th Headies event in Atlanta, United States, on September 4.
Entertainers, producers, comedians and nominees attended the evening, where Sanwo-Olu gave his scorecard in entertainment and tourism and renewed his commitment to their development through strategic interventions.
Sanwo-Olu began exchanging banter with comedian AY onstage, explaining that the event was not an afterthought. He said it is a continuation of his government’s commitment to entertainment and tourism development as contained in its THEMEs agenda.
“When we campaigned in 2019, we started with a THEME agenda. People remember Traffic Management and Transport, but many don’t know that the second E is entertainment and tourism, which means when we came up with this government, we put you as a pillar of our responsibility. We said that the entertainment and tourism pillars are a priority for us to succeed as a government. We are intentional and realize that entertainment will be the defining moment of our government. We knew it could change the skyline of our economy,” he said.
Listing other strategic interventions by his administration, including skill development partnerships for Lagos youth interested in filmmaking with EbonyLife, Del York Film Academy and African Film Academy, the governor reiterated that he would not treat entertainment lightly.
“If we can support people in the tech space, entrepreneurs, we can support people in entertainment as well. As a government, we are consciously working on this. It is in our self-enlightened interest that we work with you, develop you and help you fly to the level you desire. In us you have a government that wants to encourage you and enable you to become world champions.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu added that the Lagos State government’s support for The Headies was a strategic intervention to bring Nigeria’s music industry to a more global audience.
“When the promoters said let’s take it globally, the least we can do is support that bold initiative. The Headies will be bigger, bolder and better. Don’t see yourself as a local or regional person. Dream big, set high standards for yourself and let your government assist you.”
Furthermore, he instructed the entertainers to dwell more on positive developments in the country. “There are problems everywhere, but entertainment is one of the things that can help us turn the negativity into positivity. To me, the government’s support for The Headies is about doing the right thing, creating that platform for all of you to achieve whatever you want.”
Previously, executive producer of The Headies, Ayo Animashaun, thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu and all other supporters of the Awards.
Stressing that the creative industries need government support, Animashaun added: “I think we are in a good place in our history. And it’s not just about The Headies and movies; it’s about the entire creative industry. We have cried about this for years. We didn’t have the government to support us, but now Lagos is doing this.”
Entertainment impresario Kenny Ogungbe and founder of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, also praised Sanwo-Olu’s support for the creative industries at the event.
Ogungbe said: “From the beginning I never looked to the government to produce music. I have over 80 albums in the last 20 years. Nobody in West Africa can boast of 80 albums with at least 12 songs per album. That happened. on the sweat. Now someone lifts us up lift me up I am so excited On behalf of all musicians, record label owners, performers, artist managers, production managers and stage managers, thank you for the love of music in Nigeria.
Anyiam-Osigwe also appreciated the Governor on behalf of all filmmakers. She said: “I want to thank you from the film and creative industries for all you have done and for all the young people you have empowered. We have been on the road for the past three months and it has been great. The talent is there, and nurturing that talent means the world has not yet seen what Lagos has to offer. We’re just getting started, and with the way you’ve nurtured and supported them from the ground up, I know what we’re doing in Lagos is sustainable. Thank you for seeing what many people in Nigeria don’t see in the creative industry.
Lagos will host an event in Atlanta in addition to the weekend’s event. The state will support the organizers in the relocation of some of the nominees from Nigeria.
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