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COVID-19: Ibadan entertainers create means to sustain audience

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Some Ibadan-based entertainers on Tuesday have evolved means of beating the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the industry by developing strategies for sustaining their audience.

The entertainers, in separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Ibadan, said that the situation has spurred them to device othes means with a view not to loose touch with their loved ones.

A comedian, Oluwatobi Owomoyela, aka Peteru, who said that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone positively and negatively, noted that almost every sector is at a standstill awaiting for total eradication of the virus in the country.

“Comedians that post skits now get more views and reach these days because everybody is now on their phones looking for excitement and avoid boredom.

“But for some of us who work every other weekend at shows and ceremonies, we are home praying and believing this ends soonest.

“I have no fewer than eight events that have been postponed due to COVID-19, though not too comfortable. This is very crazy, but what can I do? Health is wealth, so we have to keep safe for these events to eventually hold.

“None of the organisers of the postponed events is yet to reach out asking for refunds, but I don’t think any will ask for such. We shall definitely strike a balance and wait till this is over,” he said.

“This was the reason I said work is piled up already and I won’t be surprise to see weddings happen from Monday to Sunday when this is all over.”

Mr Babatunde Ojobaro, the Chief Executive Officer of Theatre Hub Africa, said the effect of COVID-19 is physically binding, but not intellectually and socially.

Ojobaro said that work is still ongoing at his end because he has resorted to social media to make things work.

“I have a WhatsApp group for all the cast and crew of our ongoing project before the emergence of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Then I have different sub-groups for the different departments we have.

“The strategy, music and creative teams all have their different groups. We have meetings and rehearsal as it concerns each team.

“For instance, 80 per cent of the songs we need for our pending production are ready and and we rehearse via voice notes.

“As soon as we can get together, we go straight into action,” he said.

Mr Dare Ayelabola, the Chief Executive Officer, Another Level Band, said that COVID-19 has collapsed the entertainment industry as nothing is currently happening.

Ayelabola said that entertainers now look for ways to keep up with their followers on their various platforms.

COVID-19 has affected everything entertainment by 50 per cent as we have all events postponed. Most of us now use social media to entertain and let people know what we are up to.

“Now Facebook and Instagram are where we dish out to our followers. They view us live from the comfort of their house doing our best to entertain them.

“We are looking forward to the end of this pandemic, then we agree on a new date for events that have been postponed,” he said.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)