The popular Enugu State based Ebonyi indigenous traditional musician and Master of the Ceremony, Comrade Sunday Nwine a.k.a MC Fines in this interview bare his mind on the challenges facing the growth of Entertainment Industry in the fastest developing state, Ebonyi and what should be done to favorably compete in the thriving industry, hear him.
Can we meet you, Sir?
I am Comrade Sunday Nwine, MC Fines a native of Ochafu in Igbeagu Community, Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State, an Enugu State based entertainer with over ten years in the industry.
Recently we learned you launched your new traditional music album, how is the market in Ebonyi?
Ebonyi State has a lot of talented Artistes but marketing is one of the biggest challenges we are facing. If you go to Onitsha, Alaba, or Pound Road Aba you will see that none of them is interested in marketing our dialectic movies and music because they will tell you that the management is very poor. The reason being that talented artists don’t get sponsorship here because nobody is interested to invest in all these upcoming artistes so they produce poor work that will not compete favorably in the international market.
But there’s another issue hindering our growth, it baffled me that in all these markets, some of the major marketers are from Ebonyi State but they don’t like marketing our products because many of them don’t want to be identified as Nwa-Abakaleke, a syndrome I grew up to meet in the industry and as an Artiste who is based in Enugu, I know how difficult it was getting to mingle as Nwa Abakaleke because there’s serious stereotyping in the industry.
What do you think should be done to overcome these challenges?
I think if government should put their eyes in the movie thriving industry as a way to curb unemployment and youth restiveness with the mindset of encouraging youth development, thereby, start supporting and promoting talented Artistes that will help our youth a lot to see themselves as equals with their fellows, especially in parts of Igbo land who look at them with an eye of inferiority and disdain. Coming to talk of music, the same thing; if I should mention all our Artistes that had made sincere effort but ended halfway, it is because they lacked sponsors with nobody to encourage them and the most annoying part is that the same people who need to sponsor our artistes are promoting foreign music every day against our indigenous ones.
Are you trying to say that those states doing well in terms of entertainment got their support from the government?
Yes, because enabling environment and fund outside already existing talented artistes are what movie makers need to produce quality work, though, not only the government that assists them but individuals also show support like Anambra State. The governor recently awarded a movie village contract which work is the ongoing and the same thing with Lagos, but our people end up being consumers of all these foreign products.
The painful thing is that we have people who are super gifted but lying waste here. Individually, many businessmen and politicians there help them but here the story is different. They are only interested to help someone who is a trouble maker may be to get them out of jail or prison and such has motivated many youths to join cultism and engage in various social vices hoping to get help from their boss and they always help, I wonder how we will escape from the growing syndrome if our big men don’t encourage talents.
What do you expect Ebonyi State Government to do to encourage those in the industry?
You see, Imo State, for example, has Bongo Square and with that government is promoting their local music and encouraging talented ones to preach their culture using music and we all know how Bongo took over the music sphere.
Talking of individuals, once they noticed that you are talented they will invite you to sing for them in marriage, birthday, burial, wedding and other parties thereby appreciating the musicians which is what motivate them, so, both government and individuals can help upcoming artistes by giving them support and sponsorship.
In Ebonyi what do you think should be done for our indigenous movies and music to meet the regional standards or compete favorably with others internationally?
It is all about funding, everything about entertainment boils down to sponsorship for the movie or music producer to get quality work which if done, nobody will embarrass us when such work is taken to the marketers, rather, they will be the ones begging us to market our movies, after all, we are of advantage with Ebonyians scattered in all parts of the country and our dialect understandable compared with some of our Igbo sister’s state like Imo and Abia who they patronize their music and movies.
Our big men here are not interested in supporting those in entertainment generally, be it music, movie or comedy and that has been the reason our entertainment industry is nose-diving and it is clear they want everybody to join politics which is not possible.
It will interest you to know that our entertainers have done a lot of good works that would have taken them far and made many millionaires but these jobs were poorly produced because they don’t have money to pay for quality job and when they take them to the market nobody will accept marketing them and that will be the end of the person’s career.
What was the most embarrassing moment in your career?
That was when I was doing my music and my parents publicly denounced me after they tried convincing me to bury the idea of entertainment, but surprisingly, after few days my musical album posters were seen everywhere they welcomed me at home when I returned with the surprise of what I have done.
As a multitalented Artiste where would you like to be found in the next five years?
I love all the areas but the movie is my most encouraging side because I love characterization, simply, anything acting.
What type of music do you sing?
I sing highlife as well as traditional music and I wish to say that music is not judged by the beat or rhythms but a wise man listens to the message in music and that’s why our forefathers do not play with folktales because it comes with lessons and that’s what our traditional music does, such would have helped control incessant suicides common now in Nigeria.