2017: A thriller for Nigeria Entertainment


  • Adeyinka Akintunde


THE year 2017 will go down memory lane as one unforgettable year for the Nigerian entertainment industry.  It was a year that left lovers of entertainment thrilled as event after event unfolded, generating huge discussions, excitement but also leaving sour tastes.

The year began with the Big Brother Naija show, hosted in South Africa. This caused a lot of controversies as to why a Nigerian show should take place outside Nigerian soil. Various contestants, including Bally, Coco Ice, Gifty, Meyonse, Kemen, Debbie Rise, Bisola, Marvis, and Efe, entered the house in January to contest for US$200,000 and a car.

In April, Efe Ejeba from Warri, Delta State, won the coveted prize money, after spending 12 weeks in the Big Brother House. He was voted as the most entertaining housemate. His slang “based on logistics” became so popular while he was in the House and long after the show had ended. Bisola Aiyeola came second, and Tokunbo Idowu, popularly known as T-Boss finished third, in a rather “controversial” manner, as most viewers blamed Big Brother for keeping her that long in the contest despite not being entertaining.

The show survived criticisms from largely religious sections. Evangelist Mike Bamiloye, for instance, called for its total ban because it promotes high level of sexual immorality.

In his words: “They kissed, they romanced before the cameras of Africa, and they were honoured and glorified. At times, the glory of this world makes the children of the Kingdom look stupid. I hope some Kingdom children will not begin to envy this type of worldly glories.

“What does this teach our youths now? Glamorising and glorifying immorality before the cameras of the world can fetch you millions and make you a celebrity overnight? I hope some pastors will not begin to make reference to this as a work of God’s grace.”

Efe Ejeba, Big Brother Naija Winner

Popular actress, Funke Akindele was in the news a couple of times in the outgoing year. The producer of the popular soap opera, “Jenifa’s Diary” had a clash with one of her actors, Juliana Olayode, who plays “Toyosi”.  The disagreement was over Olayode’s request for salary increase, which was said not to have gone down well with Akindele. Further disagreements between two of them, led to their un-following each other on their social media handles.

Nigerian movie stars took to the street in July to march against domestic violence. The campaign, led by Tonto Dikeh and Mercy Aigbe, who were once victims of domestic violence, had the then wife of the Ooni of Ife, Olori Wuraola, join them in marching from Falomo Bridge to the Lagos Bar Beach. The walk also had the presence of Toke Makinwa, Foluke Daramola, Annie Idibia and Kemen, a former Big Brother Naija housemate.

There was the release of a new dance style during the year. It came from a Ghanaian artist, Justice Amoah, popularly called Patapaa, in his hit song “one corner”.  The dance portrays a sexual act, and it is done at any angle.

The “one corner” virus was later to spread to Nigeria such that Super Eagles striker, Kelechi Iheanacho was at a time spotted engaging in the dance before the team’s match against Zambia, in Uyo.

It faced a lot of criticisms from various sectors, but the artist responded in October.  “Prophet Kumchacha, Sonnie Badu, KKD have all criticised the song and the dance that accompanies it. But I will prove them wrong and soon Ghanaians will know that “One Corner” is one of my many hits. At this point in my career, all I need is support and encouragement and not insults and criticisms. I will not be distracted by these comments because I know where I am headed.”

Also, in 2017, Nigerian artistes got people really dancing to the songs they released. Ranging from Davido’s “If” and “Fall”, to Runtown’s “For Life”, “Holy Holy” by 2Face Idibia, and “All Over” by Tiwa Savage, there was never a dull moment. There were very many songs like “Something Light” and “Jeje” by Falz, but one very captivating one was “Wo”, a Yoruba song released by Olamide

The P-Square brothers were in the news again in 2017, as they had a heated quarrel, and almost got physical at their lawyers’ office in September.  A version of the story accused Lola Omotayo-Okoye, Peter’s wife, of coming between the twin brothers as they were said to be united before Peter married her. Another version said the crisis arose from the inability of the brothers to come to terms about who should be their manager. Peter had said that he does not want Jude, their elder brother, as manager again for some reasons, one of it being that Jude does not give Lola (Peter’s wife) her deserved respect, and this did not go down well with Paul. The twins have now gone their separate ways.

There was an increase of short comedy videos and vox-pop questions of various types on the social media in 2017. Different handles like Pulse TV, Naij.com, Comedimatic and others would pose different questions to people and would get very funny responses, showing the talent and creativity of Nigerians.

Celebrity weddings took place with the most talked about being that of music artist, Bankole Wellington (Banky W) with actress Adesua Etomi in November. They had their introduction in Nigeria, with A-list celebrity like Bovi, Basket Mouth, Kemi Adetiba, Tunde Demuren, Chigul, Juliet Ibrahim, M.I Abaga, Dotun Kayode, Toolz, Tolu Oniru, Linda Ejiofor, and Sola Sobowale, in attendance, followed with their white wedding in South Africa.

The 2017 All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, saw Nigerian artistes like Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, YCee, Wande Coal, 2Face Idibia, Simi bag various awards for their productions in the course of the year.

Will 2018 bring more frills and thrills for the Nigerian entertainment industry?


– Dec 29, 2017 @ 17:11 GMT |