Nigeria: I Don't Believe in Censorship – AIT/Daar’s CEO Dokpesi interviewed

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Last week Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper interviewed the CEO of AIT/Daar Chief Raymond Dokpesi and we have presented some of the interesting responses below :

On local content : » There is no way you'll look at a Nigerian produced video now and you won't want to conclude that it was produced in America, South Africa or Europe. The truth of the matter is that it is not only the artistes themselves that have developed, it is the entire industry. All the supporting groups have given tremendous support to the music industry and I believe that is good for Nigeria .

National Broadcasting Commission has also gone further to say that on TV, certain time belts especially between 7 and 10pm should be reserved exclusively for Nigerian contents including Nigerian music. And I think that as time goes on, it will be possible to have close to 24hrs of the Nigerian content and Nigerian music will be the best for it because that is the readily available content. »

On its satellite TV offer : » With the arrival of satellite TV, we can have a dedicated musical channel and Nigerian artistes or Africans all over can now have 24hrs dedicated music channels. DAAR SAT has 128 channels.

32 of them are in high definition (HD) and 96 standard definition (SD). I think at present, we are running about 55 channels. It is only the satellite space capacity that is a limiting factor. By and large, if things go well we should soon be talking about how Nigerians will be able to enjoy full exposure, so that Nigerian artistes and musicians will be able to have dedicated channels and indigenous music for that matter. »

On censorship in music : »I don't believe in censorship. This thing they call talent, you see, is something you can't regulate or legislate. You should allow the evolution of content and talent. People should continue to record themselves but not everything that are recorded should go on air immediately otherwise, it (the songs) will meet immediate failure. But most of these younger artistes are in so much haste, that they want to have their songs on air immediately.

What I think every broadcast house should really do is to have a team that would preview songs and advice the artiste and the producer of the video on what areas they really need to work on to make it broadcast worthy. There is need for consultation but in most cases the cost of production is so high and when you don't consult before producing, the song or video is aired like that with every mistake that has been made. In most cases, you will see that artistes in the US don't release their videos very often because a lot of input coupled with necessary amendments are made before a video is released. But in Nigeria, you will find that anybody who thinks he or she has a good voice will either run to a studio to sing or want to produce a music video without thinking properly on the message the lyrics should pass across.

(source : Vanguard)