Open letter to the entertaining community in Jos

For over two decades we (Jos) pride ourselves as the hub of entertainment in Nigeria and Africa yet we have little or nothing to show for it except the names we keep naming saying, this or that person came out of Jos. Am honestly sick of this bullshit; we keep holding on to the past and forgetting to work in the present to develop and create a future we all desire.

How has it profited us all that a Jesse Jags, MI Abaga, 2face Idibia, Jeremiah Gyang, Saint Obi, Ice Prince Zamani, Psquare and others all came out of Jos? Has it given upcoming musicians a platform to rise in their game and become superstars? Why is it that “our Jtown ‘Heros’ have to leave the boundaries of this city before they come to fame? Isn’t it time to begin to look inside? Hmmm!

2015 is here people and its time we take the bull by the horns and change our fortune, thus, the course of entertainment on the plateau. It is our responsibility, all of us to make it work from DJ’s, Comedians, Musicians, On Air Personalities, Promoters, Government, Churches, Event Managers, Club Owners and etc. It’s time we each play our parts professionally for the good of all; else we will continue to stay where we have always been.

Why am I writing this letter? It’s because am sick and tired of this so called Jtown nonsense entertainment industry were we don’t innovate or create anything new. We just sit down and wait for someone to begin anything and we just begin to copy and copy wrongly. Every event you see is someone trying to out play his friends or the other group and yet we still do it worse than they did.

How can we get respect? Why should we get support? When all that we do is fight, beef, bad talk each other behind our backs while we shake hands and pretend we are pals. We cannot even retweet, BC (broadcast) or share someone else’s event or applauded their performance if they are not a part of ‘our crew’! Shame on us all. That is why we walk the street of Jos claiming that we the best rapper, producer, Singer, etc. with our pockets empty, living in our parents’ house, jumping from one Keke-Napep to another, sipping cheap wine and carrying small girls around in the name of “we are entertainers”

TO MUSICIANS

If there is one major lesson we all have learnt so far is this “Talent alone is not enough to make you a success”, I walk around and see a lot of talented youths in Jos with nothing to show for it. We allow our gifts to blind us to the reality of life that we often forget to do what is expected of us instead, we become proud and arrogant, constantly in competition with each other without a prize to be won.

We divide ourselves into groups not with the aim of harnessing our strengths to uplift our careers but, with the aim to show off and out perform others. We block opportunities for others, hijack shows and events for what reason? We don’t attend other artists’ shows unless we are on the roster. Even if we do, we still won’t pay at the gate cos “we are artistes”! What a shame!
Why should an artiste collect show money on behalf of other artistes and keep it?
Why should artistes talk bad about others to get them off shows?
Why should artistes collect money for their show and ask others to perform for free?

Many of us artist blame OAPs for not promoting our music on air well. Why should they? When most of you artistes are not well informed about what you do? You cannot be interviewed on air cos your English is bad and your persona is terrible and those of you who have had the opportunity to be represented are so ungrateful and rude to OAPs. It’s about time we changed.

2015 is upon us friends, it’s time we unite and be our brother’s keeper only then will the government and other stake holders respect us and pay us what is due. If we stand and defend each other, we will open doors of prosperity across board for all to enjoy. I besiege us all to develop ourselves and turn that talent into skills, let’s see better performances on stage, great music and love for our brothers or we will become as said to the great Troy “Your Blessing goes hand in hand with your curse.”

 

TO ON AIR PERSONALITIES (OAP’s) AND DJs

Just in case you didn’t notice, when was the last time jtown was crazy about any show on radio or TV? Not anymore! Cos you guys have lost creativity and we are so bored with the same programing every week without a well branded local Jtown content. Isn’t it a shame that our radio playlist is full of music from Lagos and yankee? Is it that Jtown music is below standard or what?

I get it maybe you feel that playing #jtownmusic on your show will make it seem wacked or better yet make you look or sound wacky. Therefore to be a part of the happening OAPs, you have to talk about Phyno, Jay-Z, MI, Wizkid, etc and play their music but, you can’t talk about any Jtown artist cos “the station will say its hype!”  Is it not ‘hype’ when you talk about ‘outsiders’? Oh! I get it… its news ko! (Funny)

I remember those days when Jtown OAPs and DJs were responsible for creating stars such as MI, Ice Prince, Law Breakers, Jeremiah Gyang, Grip Boys etc, they walk the streets with pride and respect knowing what they helped build… God bless DB MC, Sterry J, Joey Kevin Lar, Kyenzee Ngupar, Eldee, DJ Sunny Jeff etc these guys made stars in jtown.

Today the story is different instead of OAPs and DJs helping jtown artist they are busy competing with artist for attention and fame. Note: Guys, your fame comes with the work you do with artistes! In this New Year I will love to see OAPs finding ways beyond their company’s policies to help us build this industry with more hypes, interviews, celebrity gist and more jtown music on air plays. It’s time to celebrate our own Jtown Stars and you can make it happen for us all. Your reward should be the satisfaction you get for helping to make a superstar.

 

TO RECORD COMPANIES

One thing that we saw in 2014 more in jtown is the birth of record companies. I was elated with this development thinking that this thread will bring some organization to the development of music in Jos but, I was wrong.

It’s clear that most of these labels you hear artist repin’ on their songs are just carved out names for them to feel cool about what they are doing. It’s almost like a thing of pride to say “I belong to this crew.” A CREW is what they really are not RECORD COMPANY!

The few that could almost pass for a label are not creative, instead of thinking outside the box and finding ways to sell their artist they are busy copying each other, mimicking the same events every month end, award shows, promotions etc.

It’s time for Jtown to showcase a new set of record companies who will stick together to make things work for their artistes and the whole industry. Let’s see companies collaborating with each other to do BIG events, award shows, promotions etc.

As soon as record companies put themselves together we would begin to see growth and respect in the industry that would begin to attract financial supports, endorsement and sponsorship form government, cooperate bodies and philanthropists.

TO MEDIA HOUSES

It’s a shame when I see and hear what media houses are doing to the entertainment industry in Jos. Man! These guys are killing us! How can you explain those policies they make preventing OAP’s form talking about jtown artist and events? OAPs have to almost kill themselves seeking permission to interview a local artist!

I heard a radio station in Jos stopped a jtown music show, for what benefit? OAPs are given querries, their salaries are cut down because they talked about a jtown event! Some would rather make a Chris Brown or P-square top on their music chat show than a local Jtown artist! It’s a shame that you are doing this to us your own people.

When I hear entertainment news on our local station and it’s about AY Show or Beyonce, then it’s a slap on our face. What you are telling us is that we in Jos don’t do anything worth notice.

I know you want to get paid for stuff but, when it’s like you are victimizing us it calls for concern. Please note: that when you support us and help us grow then, we would have the money to come pay for stuff.

TO THE CHURCH, CLUB OWNERS, COOPERATE BODIES

It’s amazing that its only in Jos that we have company’s worth Millions of Naira operating different business from Bakery, Communications, Non Profits, Hotels, Clubs, Banks, House hold products, Oil etc. with none of them supporting or sponsoring entertainment in Jos and we still patronize them

I thought that companies are supposed to have a social responsibility (CSR) to the communities where they operate? Can someone please tell me what is the CSR of LG, MTN, AIRTEL, GLO, THERMOCOOL, BANKS, CHURCHES, GUINNESS, OASIS BAKERY, DSTV, GRAND CEREAL and the rest doing to the people of Jos especially the youths?

I believe that in 2015, we entertainers will rise up and ask these corporations to start supporting us like they do in Lagos, Port, Enugu, other places. Since our leaders in government and communities would not demand that these organization should support the youths, we must find a way to ask them ourselves.

What am I saying? I want to see our own Jtown artistes on bill boards as brand ambassadors for these organization, let’s see them sponsoring events and award shows in Jos with good money, if they are not making a lot of it in Jos they would have packed out since yet, they keep opening new branches in almost every street.

Let’s see the churches paying good money to gospel musicians even if they are members of the same church. It’s a gift from God to us all to profit. Some are called to preach, some to play instruments, some to sing and others church administration, all to the glory of God.

TO THE GOVERNMENT

It’s amazing how our government are looking for ways to increase revenue, reduce unemployment and attract investors to the state and they are neglecting the entertainment industry which is the right vehicle to do just that.

I guess it’s because they see what we do as some sort of hobby or a game or maybe they just don’t care about us so, they mock us with a ministry called “ministry of youth and social development”/ “Ministry of culture and tourism” with a 40+ year olds as commissioners  who seat in offices doing what?…

Do you know it’s only in Plateau State that you will see a “Miss Plateau” or “Miss Culture and Tourism” entering Keke Napep? They are not even recognized by the government in fact, for organizers of this event to get endorsement by the government they have to pay, which is not bad but the kind of neglect these queens suffer is pathetic.

When will we see our government create opportunities for our artist in Jos to rise out of poverty? I mean really do something to subsidize the cost of hosting events for jtown artistes? When will our government stop bringing in artistes from Lagos and Abuja for government event and use our local jtown artistes and pay them well.

It’s a shame when an artist will be invited from Lagos and be paid over 2million Naira with flight, security, hotel bills and a welcome visit to the governor while our own Jtown artiste who are ‘privileged’ to get on a government event roster are hardly paid N100, 000
my point is this, if you don’t celebrate us at home, when will we be called outside Jtown and be celebrated?

I must commend the “pay your tax campaign” by government who used our own local artistes as ambassadors. That’s a start because we can improve and do better and maybe someday we will have a Jtown artiste as a Glo or MTN Ambassador.

IN CONCLUSION

I will like to urge all Jtown people to support us entertainers in Jos in 2015, there is already a great support for comedians and Djs in Jos that is why they are driving better cars and living better lives than musicians. Let’s see you paying N100000 and possibly more to musicians to perform in weddings, birthdays, and church services.

It’s going to be a great year for entertainment in Jos but it requires all of us to join our hands together and respect each other’s skills and talents and increase appreciation for what we all do. Only then shall we reap the fruit of our labor in this industry.

Shalom.
Sign: Solomon Inusa Nyimlo

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4 comments

  1. This article by Solomon Inusa Nyimlo is not only God sent but very timely too!
    I agree with you 100%. This has been the plight of the entertainment world in J town for ages now! We had a solid foundation but no proper structure erected to consolidate what we have. If those responsible (and I mean every entertainment loving J person) were serious and business minded, J town would have been a city of glitz and razzmatazz never seen before and no city can come close in terms of entertainment. I left Jos about 20 years ago for the United Kingdom, its a shame that instead of moving forward, the city has actually retrogressed.

    To echo Solomon’s article, hope is not lost yet! Let 2015 be the year of restoration!

    Let all hands be on deck! Let the revolution begin!

    Thomas Onyimba
    Faze Q Entertainment
    United Kingdom.

  2. Hot, bold but straight to the point. Well done, Solo. I feel your pain. I see your struggle. But do not give up. No one should. Fashion that talent into a product, a brand that offers real solutions to some of society’s needs. Create…market…and keep growing. Good luck.

  3. Believe in yourself. There is no limit to what you can do best and achieve…… Capital tones record label needs. An upcoming. Artist to signs. For more details call mr Peter Sunday ceo at capital. Tones records label 08105881754

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