There’s been a growing dissatisfaction and distrust between the “entertainers” and the consumers of entertainment spanning a long period. The most common feedback is that if you react negatively to any “entertainer” you are labelled a hater, no matter how many truths are laced in your words, you will be discarded with just one word – Hater. And that seals it off! You are never to speak again! And that is a culture our father’s father was taught, our father’s followed suit, and now we are teaching our young Nigerians how not to have an opinion.
Have you ever tried to have a discussion with, say, an average 11 year-old Nigerian child? With all due respect to all parents, have you not witnessed how unintelligent he/she sounds? It is the same culture that is being passed to them – don’t have an opinion if you do you will be unloved; and Nigerians want to be loved! They want to walk in twos and fours to owambe parties, enter a bar and be able to hand out knuckles to fellow guests. They love to be loved, so if sacrificing your intelligence will give you the opportunity to be considered “uncomplicated” then they would rather just keep the friendships and slaughter intelligence with a knife.
But to some extent, the article written by Abdul got me and a couple of friends thinking as we were hanging out yesterday drinking and reading the piece from our laptops plus all the hilarious comments (both for and against Abdul’s article). And it just made me realise: this is what is killing us in this country! Some people are upset to the point that their management send in a “word” because a Nigerian listener – their consumer has a problem with their product. Now let’s talk about that customer bit for a minute – yes, Abdul is a customer of CityFM. Imagine that CityFM is a Product Company and they sell, say, buckets.
Abdul walks in and buys one bucket; the next day he returns it saying the bucket is leaking, then everyone in the CITYFM Bucket company starts shouting at him, throwing stones, and then one Kshow comes out and puts a knife to his throat! If you think that scenario is ridiculous then I want to tell you that that was exactly what happened with that piece Abdul wrote!
I even heard other writers were been threatened! I read tweets, I followed the responses and I just had my mouth wide open. Why should anybody be threatened or made to feel insecure because of an article sent in by a random fellow who might not even stay till the end of the year in Nigeria. Bet me, Abdul will soon find out that he left sugarcane for cane. Nigeria will frustrate him to a point of no return! It is our style, our culture.
There are so many things that bite in life, but there are only a few that is right up in your face. Entertainment is in my face every day, so I have to feel the sting even if I do not want to. Radio especially, as every Lagosian knows, radio is a huge part of our lives. If you are in traffic (like Abdul), radio is your best friend. If you are at home and PHCN does their magic, radio is your sure companion. If you can’t be bothered renewing your satellite station because you are low on cash (and terrestrial TV is totally out of the question!), with a few batteries you can get some kind of entertainment from your radio. Although radio is the PlanB entertainment portal, it is a crucial plan B.
This is an era where perception is bigger than anything. P-square recycles materials unintelligently every day, but they are big stars! How and why? They do what they have to do, pay little attention to critics (but fully aware they exist and handle their matter with some level of decorum), and focus on other razzmatazz (like a spanking new video or Peter with a naked picture showing of craters that will distract people from the initial issue), and we all love them nonetheless. They do not threaten people, and most of all they do not gang up against press!
I know it is insulting to even put Psquare on the same stage with random OAPs from not-so-popular stations, but you can learn a thing or two from this…
Be real: It is so hard to take you seriously when you sound the way you do on radio! Every lady has a shrill voice on radio, it’s like crickets that won’t let you sleep! It is annoying to say the least. Is that how you sound when you are at a buka about to devour pounded yam? Come on!
Be original: Apart from a few stations like BeatFM, Wazobia, Naija Info, Classic, Inspiration, there’s always discrepancy in delivering content to the people. There’s very little research, and this is clear when it is delivered. We know that you do not know what you are talking about; and because you all pick your gist from one or two blogs, you do not take the pain to dig in deep and get more facts to buttress your stolen point. And it makes you look like a hot mess. We need to know you for something. What are you? What is the theme and substance of your show? Who are you reaching? The people you are reaching do they like your style of presentation? Would they pick you over the next competition?
Bring your shoulders down: stop feeling like stars just yet! You are not a star because you present a show on radio, you are a star when the public picks you out of the bunch and present you with awards and accolades, and we all watch your brand grow beyond just radio. At the moment many of you are just struggling nine-to-fivers, no better than a marketer sweating under his shirt! You do not own the station and you cannot monopolise stuff. Don’t get too comfortable, it is still a job and you can lose it any day.
So live with the knowledge that you have only a short time to deliver on excellence. There are few OAPs that can be called stars – Toke (for her red carpet presence), Tosyn Bucknor (for her multi-faceted pursuits), and definitely Toolz for breaking new grounds every day.
Get a brain: make your show as intelligent as possible. Give us something to believe in. Give it substance. Wana Udobang does a great job as far as substance is concerned. It is not what you tell us you are doing, it is how you apply it to your show. We will gather knowledge from your personality on air.
Be ready to take a hit: You know what they say about the empty barrel that makes all that noise. If your station is worth anything then you need to learn to take shots from people who will poke into your business. Your job is to protect your business, not go all out on social media and put your brand on a stake to be burned. That is branding for dummies! Everyone should know that! And every OAP should know that you do not start a war you cannot finish. If you are not sure you will come out stainless then don’t start. This is the internet, people will eat you up and give what is left of you to their dogs.
Be mature: keep your private business private! For shit sake, true stars try every day to protect their businesses from prying eyes, and you are doing the opposite, trying to get your business all out for people to trample on? This in particular is for the Kshow dude, do not send a war to a harmless door. Do not send people to help you fight your war. You have more to lose, trust me. You might think you are getting some kind of fame from all of this but it is bad fame. Bad press is bad – period. From one dude to another, do not threaten a female over stuff she has no control over. If it was a proper society, those tweets can cost you your job! Unless there’s more to your person than we know (I’ll find out). If you are flesh and blood and you do not walk on water then relax. You are a man, not a thirteen year old, act like one!
It is a shame that all of this is happening to CityFM after their re-branding which should take them higher, instead they are sinking deeper into nothingness. Sometimes, re-branding might need changing every single brain-dead individual and poaching for some good hands who can accord their listeners some respect because as it seems many of them need to get behind the mic. If your comments on Abdul’s piece is anything to go by, you shouldn’t be addressing Lagosians at all. God help us all!
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