From January this year, the Nigerian entertainment industry has been rocked with one 'beef' or the other among artistes; and it looks like we haven't really seen the last of it.
In marking Mavin Records' 4th anniversary, the Grandpa of the dynasty, Collins Ifeanyi Onwuneme Ajereh Enebeli, popularly called 'Mavin Grandpa', a veteran showbiz entrepreneur, the dad of one of the best producers in Africa; and the head of the Supreme Mavin Dynasty, Don Jazzy has decided to add his voice to the call for artistes to work more in harmony than fighting one another.
|With some of Mavin crew|
He states that the ‘beef’ and bad blood among industry stakeholders hasn't gone un-noticed and he prays peace returns soonest. He advises that we all should not encourage such; as a house divided against itself cannot stand. "We should all come together in an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect so that we can all make progress. There is no need for quarrels as this will stall progress and harmony towards a clear focus and positive creativity." He says.
He is equally using the opportunity to draw attention to where he is coming from; and to emphasise that Rome was not built in one day. He stresses the need for a lot of artistes he mentors and who see him and the entire Mavin Crew as role models to be taught the virtue of patience and consistency in a knowledge driven way.
|Son, Don Jazzy presenting an award to him|
A case study of his background shows he has indeed come a long way; and that could be used to draw attention to his brand which has been painstakingly nurtured over the years with a view to leaving a worthy legacy to be proud of.
His background significantly shows he is a legendary pacesetter of the industry; having kicked off his career in the Nigerian entertainment industry over 30 years ago and journeyed through Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), PMAN (Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria), and other bodies like AMMP (Artistes Managers And Music Promoters), NARI (Nigerian Association Of Recording Industries), JCMA(John Chukwu Memorial Awards) and AMAN(Artistes Managers Association In Nigeria).
|The old times with some industry veterans|
In the course of his journey, he has been a TV host, an actor, a record label owner, an artiste manager, a music promoter, a copyright protector among others. He has several stakes in Corporate Artistes’ Management, International Promotions, Media Relations, Hospitality, Venue Management and general entertainment and business consultancy services.
Now in his 60s, and even more active than ever in the things of the industry; with a knack for excellence; he is a celebrity in his own right and a well respected father figure in the industry. And there's no gainsaying the fact that he contributed to his son's superstar status in the industry going by his bursting CV, and firsthand industry experience.
However, he has set the records straight by emphasising that he cannot claim credit for his son's record label's name; ‘Mavin’ because it came by as a result of a collective intellectual research which Don Jazzy himself led. According to him "We were all involved in the search for a name that will be a true reflection of who we are and how we see ourselves in the emerging scenario considering where we are coming from and the intended mission statement of our new quest. Looking back now with hindsight, I will say we were like a family expecting the birth of a baby which for some circumstantial reasons and my considered opinion, I chose to name that baby ‘Solar Plexus’ which after my explanation to the family, Don Jazzy approved the name because it made sense in shutting down the unnecessary trauma of the transition. That was the first album of the record label for which I consider myself honoured to have the privilege of naming with my fatherly prayers and blessing. As for the name of the record company ‘Mavin’, I will say that we all worked untiringly for the search and deserve the credit for agreeing that it is an embodiment of what we want to be known as. Those in the Mavin situation room when the name was midwifed were Don Jazzy, Dr. Sid, D’prince, Andrew Esiri (Dr. Sid’s brother), General Jay and I. I, as Mavin Grandpa, will only like to claim credit for naming the first album and thank God for such grace."
Talking about his relationship with the artistes on the label; he explains "My relationship with artistes under Mavin Records is cordial and I justify my father figure role as Mavin Grandpa and love them all as my children and I believe that the feeling is mutual"
Speaking about the present industry improvement compared to the early days; he says "I do not think that there has been a vacuum as such with regards to growth and boom in the entertainment industry. The issue is that the growth has not been commensurate with the creative efforts of the stakeholders. The players in the industry, whether they are veterans or newcomers know that there has always been enormous potentials not tapped due to poor structures. Only those who painstakingly chase their dreams with knowledge-driven consistency manage to remain relevant. What is called a boom ought to be better than what we are seeing if we are getting it right. Though progress is being made but it is not enough. We have come a long way to get out of the woods and command a reasonable market share in the global music equation. I do not want to believe that despite government knowing that entertainment is the second highest contributor to our national GDP that we cannot still think beyond an oil-powered economy and related strange bedfellows politics that have virtually rendered our youths impotent. There are obviously a lot of experienced people who can turn things around and take us to a better level but most unfortunately due to the wrong kind of patronage, we end up with compromised policies that make our efforts barren. We are like those whose journey of 40 days has become a journey of 40 years with many dying in the wilderness and unable to reach the proverbial Promised Land. This is another clear case of youths living in a wasted generation. With the right support and government encouragement, there is no reason why Nigerian music and indeed entertainment should not have an enviable market profile internationally almost 40 years after Festac ’77. It clearly should be better."
Currently, he is working on a couple of projects with some associates to keep bringing positive values to the entertainment industry by using his wealth of experience in the sector to identify some areas where his input will be useful. He has always believed in identifying young talents early enough and grooming them to understand how the business works and not for them to expect overnight miracles as Rome was not built in a day. In that regard, he has an ongoing partnership with some entertainment business entrepreneurs for the purpose of providing mentorship to some upcoming artistes and showbiz intermediary services providers by offering them the right business connections and relevant consultancy services both within and outside Nigeria to be able to achieve the status of commercial relevance that can attract the right investment into their talent.
He also consults for key showbiz stakeholders in Europe, America and other regions to develop an agenda for taking Nigerian music to a wider global space. He is also working on some Mentoring Programmes towards empowering the youth; he has a partnership with La Grande Club Badagry with a view to elevating the social and tourism needs of the area to play a role as a gateway into Nigeria from the Franco-phone neighbours and make it socially inclusive and a potential entertainment destination hub for commercial shows servicing that area.
Also, he is partnering with EMPREUS Hospitality Venue, Sports Bar and Grill for the same purpose in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. He is a partner with 2 Flame Entertainment and Don Lulu Films working on various indigenous artistes’ contents and music video production. He is into talks which have reached advanced stages for initiating film co-production treaties between Nigerian film producers and European partners and hope to facilitate production collaborations at various levels with the right government support and enabling environment. He is presently back to school in Dublin studying for a degree in Film and Television Production which he has always had passion for.
|Memorable photo of Don Jazzy's first time in a recording studio|
His advice to parents whose kids have music talents and for young artistes looking forward to making it big in the industry: "My advice to parents whose kids are talented and may wish to pursue it as a career is for them to ensure that their kids do not drop out of school because of music. They need to finish their studies and be educated to be able to make the right decisions and well informed choices – in terms of business and creativity. They must never be carried away by the hype and fantasy associated with showbiz. They need to be close to their children and guide them morally, always pray for them and advise them to stay away from drugs. Success in music is not dependent on talent and passion alone, it must be backed by good education and the right attitude that can bring about a likeable personality and win them acceptance in the market space and real world of financial backers and sponsors. And for the young ones who are already in the music business and looking forward to making it big, my advice to them is to ensure that they get a good management team behind them to guide their career. A good artiste manager contributes greatly to the success story of a successful artiste"