By Sampson Unamka
OVER the last two decades, the Nigerian entertainment industry and its practitioners have witnessed tremendous growth and changes in all spheres.
In all the growth and advancement of the industry, one billionaire remains a recurring figure in the last decade.
From music to movies, comedy, and arts, Dr. Mike Adenuga, through his telco Globacom, has continued to leave his imprints on the entertainment scene in Nigeria.
Adenuga began making an indelible impact on the Nigerian entertainment scene after signing erstwhile duo and twins, Psquare, as ambassadors. The opportunity afforded the Psquare duo by the billionaire reportedly fetched them a whopping sum of N240 million.
Before signing the Psquare duo, comedians like Basketmouth, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st, and Gordons have earned a place in the heart of the business mogul. The comedians became regular features at Glo events and adverts.
The movie stars also got a chunk of the Adenuga largesse with Richard Mofe Damijo leading the pack as an ambassador.
As of the last count, Adenuga’s preference for Nigerian music, movie, and comedy stars has seen his telco signing over 25 reigning stars as ambassadors.
The list includes Richard Mofe Damijo, Funke Akindele-Bello, Wizkid, Davido, King Sunny Ade, Flavour, Yemi Alade, Odunlade Adekola, Pasuma, and Madam Kofo amongst several others.
If any billionaire had invested funds and interest in the Nigerian entertainment industry, Adenuga stands tall on the field like a raging bull in an arena.
Unknown to many, the French’s Commander of the Legion of Honour is not only an investor in the entertainment scene. The Guru, as he’s fondly referred to, follows the growth of the industry and its practitioners.
Sources divulged that aside from running his business empire, Adenuga finds time out of his busy schedules to watch Nollywood productions, listen to songs from Nigerian musicians as well as take his time to get the jokes from his favourite comedians.
His ability to identify each of the Nigerian music, movie, and comic stars with their accomplishments and call to fame continues to surprise many of his staff. Sources say Adenuga listens to Wizkid and Davido the same way he listens to King Sunny Ade, Sir Shina Peters, and even KWAM 1.
So much is his involvement that he ensured Globacom bankrolled the production of a running television series, Professor Johnbull. With veteran actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo, playing the protagonist of the drama series, Professor Johnbull, the TV series continues to highlight some societal ills while proffering solutions.
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Adenuga’s investment in the entertainment industry cuts across tribal inclinations and age with leading entertainers from several Nigerian tribes on his bill. From Ali Nuhu to Sani Danger, Patience Ozokwo, Chioma Akpotha, Funke Akindele-Bello, Odunlade Adekola, Bright Okpocha, Ali Baba, King Sunny Ade, Sola Sobowale, Papi Luwe, Davido, Lagbaja, Richard Mofe Damijo, Wizkid, and Flavour N’abania, the entertainers glowing sing the praises of Adenuga and his telco at every given opportunity.
A natural lover of arts, his contribution to the French community with the Mike Adenuga center also known as the Alliance Francaise of Lagos, has earned him the global accolade.
Though he’s rarely spotted, few entertainers that have had the honour of being in Adenuga’s presence agree that he’s an artist with eyes and ears for a good detailing.
Insiders at Globacom say Adenuga’s impact on the entertainment industry and practitioners is nothing but the tip of an iceberg scheduled to unravel in the next decade.
Source: The Nation