Top Nigerian celebrities are counting their losses as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt activities lined up for the first quarter of the year.
As the industry continues to record low revenue in the first quarter of the year, several entertainment personalities are adjusting to the effect of the pandemic.
From music to movies and comedy, the entire entertainment industry is quietly accepting their fate with the raging coronavirus.
Already, Nigeria’s commercial center and the base of entertainment, Lagos, has been on lockdown for two weeks. The lockdown is to enable government and health agencies to battle the spread of the raging virus.
Award-winning singer, D’banj took to his Twitter handle to express his concerns over the effect of coronavirus on the music industry.
According to him, he is worried about the creative industry and the huge blow the spread of the virus has dealt it.
“I’m a bit concerned about how the creative industry is going to cover up the losses brought up by the lack of shows, physical performance,” he said.
“I love the challenge circulating the internet, it reminds us who we are, what we have and what we can do but with this whole pandemic going on.”
D’Banj’s reaction is coming weeks after Afropop star, Davido was forced to cancel his North American music tour, “A Good Time Tour”.
“I am saddened to halt what has been a fantastic sold-out tour so far, but postponing it is the right thing to do,” he announced via Instagram.
Following the cancelation of the tour, the singer had lamented that COVID-19 is biting hard at his fortunes and he’s beginning to spend funds meant for saving.
The singer, who seems to be the most affected, had his fiancee, Chioma, testing positive for the virus.
Also, Afrobeat star, Femi Kuti, announced the cancelation of his European, spring tour. According to him, the cancellation was due to the global pandemic.
“Due to the prevailing circumstances, our spring European tour has been called off. Our thoughts are with everyone, stay safe,” he announced.
Kuti had not only canceled his European tour but also stopped weekly musical gigs at the New Africa Shrine.
“The management of the New Africa Shrine has decided to cancel all musical activities this weekend as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation,” he said.
Over 10 Nollywood flicks scheduled for release in April 2020 have been suspended due to the raging pandemic.
Toyin Abraham, whose film, ‘Fate of Alakada’ was scheduled for an April release expressed her sadness but maintained that the safety of the general public and fans remains paramount to her.
Meanwhile, the box office numbers from cumscore and published by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria has witnessed a major decline. Following the lockdown which has prevented cinema outfits from operating in Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja, the numbers had drastically declined. Films currently in the cinema are no longer enjoying viewership from the audience.
One of the biggest comedy shows in the country, ‘AY Live’ scheduled for Easter Sunday, April 12 has been suspended.
The man at the helms of the affair, Ayo AY Makun, said the decision to postpone the show is inevitable saying “the decision to postpone AY Live is inevitable as we strive to do our quota by stopping the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging social distancing.”
Similarly, popular comedian, I go dye has canceled his upcoming show aimed at celebrating his 25th anniversary on stage while Gbenga Adeyinka 1st canceled his 10th edition of Laffmattazz show in Ibadan to curb the spread of the virus.
In the same vein, ID Africa, organisers of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NECLive), announced the postponement of the 8th edition of the annual conference originally scheduled to hold in April.
In a recent statement, ID Africa said, “The recent outbreak of the novel CoronaVirus (COVID-19) is challenging the world, including Nigeria with several new cases detected over the past weeks. As a responsible organisation, we believe this decision is in the best interest of everyone. We are thankful to our partners, sponsors, exhibitors and media friends who through the years make necessary preparations to support NECLive in various ways.
“For now, the NECLive organising committee will continue to monitor national and global developments on COVID-19 and work on our plans remotely, whilst reducing or completely avoiding all non-essential physical meetings or gatherings. A new date for the conference will be announced in due time.”
Other entertainers who have been forced to cancel their events include Wizkid, Teni, Asa, Seun Kuti, Neo Phlames amongst others.