A 2017 to 2021 analysis by PricewaterhouseCooper projected that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, will be the world’s fastest-growing revenue generator in the entertainment and media industry in the next five years.
In the latest developments in the industry, Nigeria wants to keep its attention on its homegrown talent as far as TV commercials are concerned, which is why they are said to be banning foreign models from appearing in televised adverts and voiceover work.
The decision was made after a previous study revealed how foreign talent had quite literally dominated the advertising market — but the country is now hoping to rectify this by only allowing its own kind to front upcoming commercial projects.
Steve Babaeko, Nigeria’s President of the Association of Advertising Agencies, expressed to The Sunday Times, “Britons accounted for about half of models and voiceover artists in Nigerian commercials a couple of decades ago.” British accents, in particular, had led most of the market up until recent years where more Nigerian locals were hired to front TV commercials.
But starting this October, as part of the “policy of developing local talent,” foreign models and voiceover artists will no longer be featured in TV ads. Furthermore, Babaeko believes that there has been “some kind of renaissance” in the country that has seen a lot of rising talent emerge, particularly among young people.
“There are about 200 million of us. Are you telling me you could not find indigenous models for this commercial?” Babeko added.
Nigerian film industry is technically bigger than Hollywood, producing an average of 25,000 films every year.
In Kenya, many took to social media to laud the Nigerian entertainment industry, over its progress in supporting its local talents. Here, we are still grappling to set up proper policies on how well local talent and productions can be prioritized and consumed diversely.
Nigeria is indeed setting the pace.