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Producer Laments Decline of South East Entertainment Industry

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Movie producer Ichaka Eziokwu has voiced deep concerns about the decline of the entertainment industry in the Southeast.

Eziokwu’s remarks are captured in a viral video that made the rounds recently.

He lamented what he perceived as a stark disparity between the progress seen in other regions and the perceived stagnation in his homeland.

He said, “Other people are moving forward, but the Southeast is moving backward. Other people are going forward, South-East they are going backwards in so many ways and it’s even more painful that our people are not disturbed by this.

“The people of South-East are looking-up to those that used to look up to them, this is painful and unbearable.

 “Let’s take entertainment for instance, and let compare South-East and Asaba. I started shooting movies in Enugu in 2010, and back then, no movie industry was going to Asaba. Today, nobody is shooting ‘pan’ in Enugu.”

He bemoaned the shifting cultural and entertainment epicenter from Enugu to Asaba, expressing dismay at the diminishing prominence of Igbo artists and cultural influencers.

He noted the pivotal role platforms like Comos FM played in promoting Igbo music and artists such as Nigga-Raw, Slow-dog, and Flavour.

Recalling a bygone era, Eziokwu reminisced, “Twenty years ago, Asaba was nowhere when it comes to entertainment. Enugu used to be the epicenter of entertainment in the Southeast.”

“Enugu used to be the center of entertainment in the South=East whether its movie, music, or highlife, Enugu used to bubble. We had Comos FM blasting Igbo music in Enugu.

“People like Nigga-Raw, Slow-dog, Flavour etc. their art was able to see the light of the day because of Comos FM. Today, Comos FM is no more and there is no platform for Igbo artistes in the South-East.

“When you talked about movie production, all the artistes you can think of were in Enugu, if you need elders, old women, extras, A-list artiste, B-list Artiste were all in Enugu. But today, what is going-on?

However, he lamented that today, Enugu’s cultural influence has waned significantly, with many artists and filmmakers now opting to work out of Asaba instead.

“Entertainment is dead in the Southeast,” asserted Eziokwu, pointing to the absence of robust platforms and infrastructure that once thrived in the region.

Eziokwu also criticized the decline in sports infrastructure, questioning the underutilization of Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu compared to the rise of Asaba Stadium.

He attributed these shifts to what he described as a lack of creative and forward-thinking leadership among Southeast governors.

Calling for a wake-up call among the people and leaders of the Southeast, Eziokwu expressed frustration with what he perceives as complacency and indifference towards the region’s cultural decline.

“Our governors and our people need to wake up,” he urged, advocating for proactive measures to revive and sustain the region’s cultural heritage and economic vitality.

Addressing criticisms often directed at outspoken voices, Eziokwu passionately called for an end to silencing dissent.

“All this nonsense that we are doing, whenever anybody speaks up, you people will start bad-mouthing the person, accusing him of speaking down on the Igbos—this nonsense must stop,” he asserted.

Reflecting on his own journey in the film industry, Eziokwu expressed concern for the future of Igbo creativity and influence.

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