What is the Nigeria Skit Industry Awards About?
The Nigeria Skits Industry Awards is a project pushed forward by the Bridge Concept, a communication outfit that is out to recognise undeniable efforts of young Nigerians, who through their passion, creativity and determination have created a niche in the comedy industry.
Our focus is particularly on young people who have changed the entertainment landscape through creative audio-visual presentations, a trend which has further consolidated our place in the world of arts in Africa.
We see that gradually this people have crept into our national consciousness, particularly the entertainment sector and seemingly today, they have redefined it. In fact, they reached this feat rising from boot straps and shoestrings without support or help from anybody. As we can proudly say, today, they have stamped their presence on the Nigerian entertainment sector and that’s a commendable feat.
Our move is based on the realisation that when one commends an effort, that person has indirectly invested renewed consciousness into that person, which invariably will further motivate such a person. The truth is that it is our collective efforts that will make this industry thrive and produce youths who are actively engaged.
How well has comedy skits impacted the society?
I would say it’s enormous. You can confirm that many Nigerians are seen sharing, liking and commenting on a particular comedy skit . Comedy skits are quite popular among Nigerians because they want to laugh and forget their problems momentarily. Let me reveal to you that comedy giants and royal fathers have endorsed and still endorsing this awards. It must be emphasised that a lot of back end efforts go into these productions with heavy messages delivered , thereby reducing witty vehicle. It has further produced skit presentation relevant to our daily lives that cannot be ignored.
Through this industry , thousands of jobs have been created, livelihoods have also been secured, many inspiring talents have been discovered and youngartists have found their way through life.
Take for instance Debo Adedayo popularly known by his stage name as Mr. Macaroni often portrays the character of a philandering elderly man in his all his skits and at the end of each episode, you see a moral lesson condemning the act of philandering. The same goes with little Emmanuella comedy skitswhich has also shown that age is not a barrier to success.
Our message to fellow Nigerians is that the skit industry in Nigeria has become a veritable genre of the Nigerian entertainment circuit which has given livelihood to many young persons and also powerful social mobilisation prospects.
Talking about passion, how does it inspire your work for the youths?
Nigeria is a nation where people hardly believe that a group of people doing some level of positive work should be commended. We are not unaware that until the initiative for awards in various sectors like the Nigerian Media Awards, Nigerian Music Awards were birthed, they were not recognised by the public . This is why ours is aiming at instituting an industry support endowment scheme (ISES) de- tailing every aspect of the art form from finance to technical skills acquisition.
Take for instance, there are many highly placed persons who entertain themselves to Mr. Macaroni’s , Shaggy and Sirbalo’s skit.
So, the question now is, if it doesn’t have impact would prominent Nigerians dedicate their time to watch it? The truth is that skit has not only changed the lives of those involved in it but that of the general public too.
In fact, this award, which is set to recognise skitmaker’s passion, creativity, determination and impact, is also aimed at creating a more structured industry that will open up more opportunities for young people to discover and develop their talents, reap their deserved benefit and open doors for increased support from individuals and stake-holders.
Would it be right to address them as influencers in the industry?
This is precisely one of the reasons we are recognising them. They are first of all skit artists and to be encouraged, and recognised as influencers, they must be rewarded without holding back anything.
As we are all aware, surviving in this country is tough. That is why some of these guys ventured into this talent display using their just phones with determination, talent, creativity and passion to succeed in spite of all.
Believe me, Nollywood was once at this level before it got institutional support and today , the Nigerian government has realised that there is a creative sector economy, whereby it voted some resources to that effect, but guess what ? They can not access it because they are not recognised under this body.
What is your main drive for this project?
At this time am working for a lasting legacy for the sector. I have worked in parliament between 2011- 2015-2019 as chief of staff to the speaker. I am very passionate about matters concerning the youth. ThIS award ceremony is modeled after the BET Awards, The Grammy, and the Cannes Film Festival.
It is also important to note that our programmes are youth centred , a typical example is projects Naija Green Card-, a platform that shields young people from the economic hardship. It was launched by the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Dogara.
Even the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal enrolled 32, 000 kids on it. What project simply does is that , where a rich fellow pays 30,000 for a service, a kid who does not earn any money would notpay as much as that. So, we help such kids to secure partners/ merchants producing clothes, hair products and many more who will will give between 5-50 per cent discount to them just because they fall under the the most vulnerable demography.
We have also done this with the Joint Admission Matriculation Board(JAMB) exams cut way back in 2002, where we published 21 year fully endorsed JAMB Q&A to help students who kept failing JAMB.
We went the extra mile to bring in lecturers to help have a well revised standard. This has yielded positive result.
How do you hope to sustain this?
Yes, the maiden edition will be held on October 3, 2021, as part of the 61st independence anniversary to recognise, acknowledge and inspire the talent, creativity, and industry of young Nigerians in the face of all challenges. We hope to sustain it through the doors of support it will open through individuals, corporate bodies and even the government. For instance, Lagos State has been chosen as the first host city of the awards ceremony. Reasons are that the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is expected to unveil the awards logo as the host city. Our decision to hold the maiden edition of the awards ceremony is in recognition of the governor’s youth inclusiveness, disposition, and ability to continue in making Lagos the city where dreams come true.