Stanley Chukuwudi Obodoagwu (Ezeudo Gburugburu of Ihiala) is the founder of AkwaAmaka Production Limited, an initiative recently launched to give young talents a boost. In this interview by SEYI SOKOYA, Ezeudo sheds more light on his passion for music promotions, reasons he chose to invest in young talents, and future projects, among other things. Excerpts:
You recently launched a brand called AkwaAmaka Live and Digital Studio, what is the motive behind this project?
The launch of AkwaAmaka Live and Digital Studio marks a new dawn in the media and entertainment industry in Nigeria and Africa at large. It is a brand established and registered under the relevant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a media and entertainment industry with major objective centering on nurturing and promoting young talents, content development, innovations and ideas.
AkwaAmaka Production is also a visual channel with an online presence, with further talks on launching its television channel, this is for the sole purpose of enabling individuals and families enjoy their leisure by providing first-class entertainment and information.
How did you come about this innovation?
AkwaAmaka Production Limited originated from the discovery of unique talents in Nigerian and African youths at large through the Light Givers Humanitarian Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation founded by my humble self with the aim of assisting young men and women harness their talents. It was also borne out of my desire to set up a leading entertainment industry in sub-Sahara Africa. This idea, though conceived years ago, became clearer in 2019 when AkwaAmaka Production Enterprises was set up. I would say that it was inspired by two things. First, my passion for entertainment and second, to help build the Nigerian youths for a better tomorrow.
So far, have you been able to achieve this to an extent?
Yes, we have been doing our best and would not give up until we get to where we are heading to. We have a movie production unit, which has produced about five standard movies to our credit for the global market. It is our believe, therefore, that with the commissioning of AkwaAmaka Live and Digital Studio, AkwaAmaka Production Limited will have the capacity to produce more good music and movies for companies and other individuals who desires to produce their music and movies in AkwaAmaka Digital Studio.
How? In what capacity?
Today, I have achieved it to some extent with six artistes. I started with the six artistes from the scratch. I started by teaching them how to write songs, made them have confidence in themselves that they can be great as artistes on their own.
Looking forward, what is the ultimate goal you hope to have achieved with ‘AkwaAmaka’ in the next five years?
AkwaAmaka is just slightly over two years in existence and see where we are today? We are building the biggest radio and television stations in Africa, the biggest production house in Africa and we’ve almost achieved 60 per cent. We believe that before this year runs out to next year, we will achieve the remaining 40 per cent.
How did you come about the name of the concept?
AkwaAmaka was inspired to join hands and make the Nigerian and television industry great. This necessitated the ongoing construction of the AkwaAmaka TV, Radio Station and AkwaAmaka Production Limited magnificent Headquarter in Akwaezikenyi, Ihiala in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. This ongoing construction to be completed this year is a multi-million-dollar project estimated to be the biggest indigenous entertainment industry in Africa.
Can you mention the artistes under you and why you signed them?
There are five artistes currently signed with ‘AkwaAmaka’, four males and one female. Bella Oluwasegun Abidemi (Bellamino), Akuma John Ikechukwu (Da-Popz), Izuchukwu Ezeribe Velitus (Mayor Onyenkwa), Praise Ayomide (Praise-Ayo), Aluche Paschal Chinecherem (Afhrolegacy). These artistes are indeed doing great and I want Nigerians to watch out for them.
One of the qualities we look out for in our artistes is distinctiveness. We have also defined the system to that it won’t affect their academics.
It has been observed that you are a lover of music. What is good music to you? What will you define as good music?
Just as the French people will say, music is ‘la musique est tout son agréable aux oreilles’ meaning ‘something pleasant to the ear’, so any song that is pleasant to the ear is good for my listening pleasure. I may not have been into music for so long, but I just love good music. God has been leading us to teach and lead young musicians aright. I get all my inspirations from God. We are also looking up to work with some notable artistes for collaborations when the time comes.
Aside from the brand, you are also into philanthropy, can you talk more about ‘AkwaAmaka’s Light Givers Foundation?
The ‘Light Givers Foundation’ gave birth to ‘AkwaAmaka’. That’s why today, many of them are putting on vests with the inscription, ‘AkwaAmaka’ but mine bares, ‘The Light Givers’. The Light Giver is a humanitarian foundation and we believe in contributing to give light to people and that’s why our slogan is ‘together, we are the light’ which means when you give light to one person, it spreads.
What are you doing differently to ensure that those currently signed under you will not just run off after being made?
To be honest, I am not grooming them to remain under my record label, but I’m grooming them to be better. The highest competition in the world is self-competition. So, I’m not grooming them to remain under my label because if they do, how will the industry grow? I believe that one day, they will leave to go establish their record labels and it will continue like that. In future, we could even work together and just do things together because I’ve invested in their growth.
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