Piracy may force indigenous music to extinction, stakeholders say

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Some stakeholders in the entertainment industry on Thursday advised government to fight piracy for indigenous music to thrive and safe them from going to extinction.

They said this in Lagos during the launch of a new album called “ADITU’’ (mystery): a gospel music produced by an up-and-coming artist, Durosinmi Abiodun.

Mrs Bimbo Esho, the Managing Director, Evergreen Musical Company, said that developed countries had been preserving their evergreen indigenous songs in their museums.

According to Esho, many countries have developed their indigenous music to attract foreign tourists and generate revenue to keep their economy growing.

“If you are looking for the complete musical works of legends like Orlando Owoh and others that had died, the labels might have gone into extinction.

“But for Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey, you will still find theirs because they are still alive,’’ she said.

Esho said that majority of the copies of such intellectual works of deceased musicians now available would be pirated ones.

They are usually displayed by hawkers along the highways and under the scorching sun that usually affected their qualities and not durable, she said

Esho said that indigenous music composers should create a platform where people from far and near could listen and enjoy them.

She also advised stakeholders to collaborate with the government to eradicate piracy of intellectual works.

She described it as a menace affecting the growth of the sector.

“The online piracy has even made it worse because the culprit cannot be traced.’’

Also, Mrs Aino Oniokpaku, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Quintessence Gallery Nig. Ltd., said that it was imperative to preserve the history and culture the country for future generations to learn from.

Oniokpaku is a Swedish entrepreneur that has been promoting Nigerian arts and craft for more than 42 years.

She said persistent piracy of intellectual properties would discourage budding artists from venturing into music production.

“Nigeria is blessed with fantastic talents, and we should preserve our history, otherwise we will lose our culture.

“Discarding our history will amount to us forgetting everything that is good for the country,’’ Oniokpaku said.

A film producer and a musician, Yinka Akanbi, said that the entertainment industry was capable of generating more than 15 per cent of government’s expected IGR.

Akanbi said that this would be possible if the government could concentrate and invest more in the sector.

“If we have government’s commitment, the entertainment industry will go far, the sky will be the limit,’’ he said.

He advised up-and-coming artists to be original and produce meaningful songs that would promote the good image of the country.

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