MEDIA and entertainment guru, Tajudeen Adepetu has opened up to ENCOMIUM Weekly on the reasons he laid some of his workers off recently when we visited him in his Lekki office on Wednesday, August 18, 2010. He also spoke on other issues including the preparation for the next edition of Soundcity Music Video Award coming up on November 20, 2010.
What is the state of things with Soundcity Media outfit at the moment?
We are making our territory more robust than ever before because what we set out to do was to produce six channels for Africa. For Soundcity, we are growing on a daily basis. On November 20, 2010, we are going to hold the third edition of our music video award. We are expecting it to be hugely successful as the two previous ones. But this time, we are looking forward to achieving what could be described as a huge continental success. We are inviting practically a lot of people from all over Africa. We are going to pump a lot of resources into the logistics. We hope that everything will work out fine as expected.
Why don’t you have a specific date for the award ceremony instead of doing it at different times of the year because…
(Cuts in) It is not an independence day for crying out loud. Why must we do it on a particular date? Things are not done that way. Everything depends on the situation at a particular point in time. What you just need do is to ensure you do it on a yearly basis. It does not mean you have to do it on a particular date, that is the kind of mistake a lot of people make. It is because of ignorance people feel they can go about doing anything in the industry even without understanding the industry itself. It is an insult on the industry. One of the problems facing the industry generally is not doing things the way they should be done. You see a lot of people claiming to be artist managers without going through the necessary training but just because they watch somebody from the sideline managing an artist, they also believe they can do the same thing successfully. It is not possible. You just have to go and acquire the necessary training. We are building our content base for Soundcity right now, we are building on the leading sub-Sahara brand. And we are hoping that all over Africa, we will be the number one premium urban lifestyle producer.
The 2009 music video award gulped $2 million, how much are you looking at in this forthcoming edition?
We are actually working towards the same budget for this year because last year we had such a huge issue which we were unable to get enough sponsorship to do whatever we wanted to do. But hopefully this year, things are going to be taken care of better because we have some sponsors in place now but we are still looking for more sponsorships. We are planning to make a grand event. It is going to be broadcast live all over the world. So, we are trying our best to make sure we have a very good event.
You pledged to bring another interesting Mexican soap after When You Are Mine, but its yet to see the light of the day, why?
The thing is that we even have more than one, we have about 12 Mexican soaps that we have not shown in Nigeria. We do not want to show them on tree to air television, we want to show it on our channel. We have our own cable network, we are working on being able to make it available to the general public. You have to buy our decoder for you to be able to enjoy these telenovelas.
That means people have to sacrifice certain amount of money unlike before when they enjoyed it for free?
Yes, it has to be so because it doesn’t make any sense showing it free any more.
If we get you right, that means you’re targeting some profit on the project?
The one we did then was just a teaser, for the public to understand then that this kind of content is available and if you want to watch it, you can watch it on the Televista channel. The Televista series channel is going to be one of the most watched channels in the whole world because we are going to give people all they want to watch so far they can afford it.
When would that be ready exactly?
As soon as we are through with the award ceremony, we are going to roll out our agenda for 2011. I believe by the time we begin to show it, it would be watched all over Africa because all our channels will be in place.
What makes Soundcity a unique media outfit?
Soundcity is owned by a company called Consolidated Media Associates. Soundcity is a brand that provides people what they want to watch, what they want to listen to. That is exactly what makes Soundcity a unique media outfit. When you give people what they want, you won’t have problem with your audience and that is why Soundcity is successful and it is going to be successful forever. That is why any other outfit trying to copy us will die a natural death.
Lest we forget, the tale in town is that most of your staffers have been sacked because you couldn’t afford to pay their salaries again?
That is not true, we only sacked about 20 out of 150 workers. But that is not to say we did that because we couldn’t afford to pay them. It is better to be lean, mean and functional than parading and wasting resources on non-functional hands. The truth is that we can still ask more to go if they refuse to be productive but at the same time, we are also employing more hands. We need to move forward, we can’t afford to remain at the same level.
- THIS INTERVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010