Upwardly mobile stand-up comedian, Nev Harrison has revealed that he introduced ventriloquism art of comedy to the Nigerian scene in order to immortalise his late younger brother, Ejiro who initially had the plans of becoming a ventriloquist.
Nev delivers his comedy through the art of ventriloquism with the aid of his sidekick ‘Kporkior the Puppet.’ Kporkior is a 38inch tall professional ventriloquist puppet (a handmade wooden puppet and first of its kind in Nigeria).
Nev’s comedy style is largely determined by the audience. If it’s a performance in front of children, the puppet is made to appear unintelligent while Nev acts as the wise one. However, when performing before an adult audience, Nev plays the foolish one while the puppet plays the wise and crafty one.
Ventriloquism is an art of comedy that is very popular abroad, and Nev believes it was a risk worth taking when he introduced it to Nigeria.
According to Nev, “my journey into ventriloquism was triggered by the death of my younger brother Ejiro, who initially had plans of becoming a ventriloquist. While Ejiro was getting ready to start a career in ventriloquism, he never lived to see that dream come through; this was because he lost his life at a teaching hospital in Lagos days after an early evening armed robbery attack in October, 2012. It was in a bid to keep the memory of my late brother alive that I learned the art over a one year period, without the aid of a tutor or ventriloquism school.”
Nev has some comedy television dramas to his credit as creator and writer. Among them are ‘Half A Dozen Plus’ featuring Chika Okpala (Zebrudaya), and ‘Living Together,’ a production of Kisil Entertainment Network.
Nev has also written for television stations like the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Wazobia Television, and Royal Roots communications network, owners of Royal Roots TV.
As a comedy actor, the graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, plays a major role in a soon to be released situational comedy titled ‘Living Together.’ Meanwhile, a notable none comedy drama that features Nev Harrison is a drama by the NTA titled HILLS AND VALLEY (where he played the role of a gangster known as Murphy).
Shazam Music Chart Launches in Nigeria, 16 Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
Apple-owned music discovery app, Shazam, has launched national Top 200 charts in Nigeria as part of its expansion to 17 new countries across Africa and Asia, including new city charts for each country.
Shazam’s Top 200 charts, which are updated daily, rank the most Shazamed tracks in a country for the past seven days.
Nigeria was ranked as one of these new countries which also include Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia.
The service’s chart offering now comprises one global chart, 70 national charts, around 1,500 city charts, 30 Discovery charts, and about 60 global and national genre charts.
These are publicly available in the Shazam app and on its website.
Shazam, which was acquired by Apple for $400 million in 2018, holds a unique position in the global discovery of music.
Over 225 million monthly active users are discovering music via the app, and they’re now generating more than 1 billion song recognitions per month (and over 50 billion total since its inception in 2002).
Alongside the launch of the new charts, Shazam has played a particularly key role in taking African artists to a global audience on its platform.
This discoverability has been driven by social media and viral challenges, combined with the launch of Shazam’s Control Center feature on iOS and iPadOS.
The company noted that a number of Shazam Global No. 1 singles to highlight this trend, include – Kizz Daniel & Tekno’s Buga ( May 15, 2022), Black Sherif’s Kwaku the Traveller (June 4, 2022), Pheelz & BNXN fka Buju’s Finesse (July 3, 2022), and Goya Menor and Nektunez ‘s Ameno Amapiano (December 24, 2021).
Others include Amaarae & Moliy Feat. Kali Uchis’s Sad Girlz Luv Money Remix (November 10, 2021), CKay Feat. Axel & Dj Yo!’s love nwantiti [Remix] (October 9, 2021), and Master KG Feat. Nomcebo Zikode’s Jerusalema (July 9, 2020).
Apple Music noted that all of these Shazam Global No.1s were social media-driven and Shazam’s Control Center module was the most popular identification method on iOS at the height of their virality, with the exception of Jerusalema, which launched before the release of the feature but still benefitted from the virality of the #jerusalemachallenge.
After they started gaining traction on Shazam, all of these tracks then started to take off on the Apple Music platform globally.
For example, Wizkid’s Essence, featuring Tems, hit the Top 10 of the Daily Top 100 in 49 countries worldwide, including the United States, South Africa, and Nigeria.
Fireboy DML’s Peru reached the Top 10 in 22 countries, including No.1 in Uganda, Nigeria, and Ghana. Jerusalema, meanwhile has reached the Top 10 in 58 countries worldwide, including France, Italy, Belgium, and Sweden.
Via a number of remixes, Love Nwantiti hit the upper reaches of Daily Top 100 charts across various countries across the globe.
The remix featuring Joeboy and Kuami Eugene reached the Top 10 in 61 countries, including India, Greece, and Portugal. The remix featuring Axel and DJ Yo reached the top 10 in 63 countries including France, Sweden, Switzerland, and New Zealand.
Love Nwantiti has reached the Top 10 of Apple Music’s Daily Top 100 in 91 countries worldwide, including France, Greece, India, and Belgium.
Ecobank Nigeria to Host Photography, Art, Design Exhibition
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
As part of activities to commemorate this year’s World Photography Day slated for Friday, August 19, Ecobank Nigeria will host a Photography, Arts and Design Exhibition (PADE).
The 3-day event themed A Canvas for Africa’s Creatives will hold at the state-of-the-art head office complex of the bank, Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC), on Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island from Friday, August 19 to Sunday, August 21, 2022.
The Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Jide Sipe, explained in a statement that the exhibition was conceived by the financial institution to help showcase the brilliance of Nigerian creatives to the world.
He further stated that the exhibition is part of the bank’s current strategy as a pan-African bank to sustain its legacy as a foremost supporter of the creative industry in the country, noting that it provides a platform for harnessing and powering the creativity of the African continent.
The event, which he said is open for members of the public to attend for free, will witness an assemblage of creative influencers in photography, visual arts, vocal and dramatic arts, and designs, adding that there will also be digital engagement ideas for creatives, photography contest and draws on social media, amongst others.
“At the event, we expect portrait photographers, event photographers, landscape photo artists and basically everyone with lenses to capture moments and frame memories in time.
“We also expect creative influencers in visual arts such as painters, calligraphers, cartoonists, make-up artists and basically everyone good with a brush or pen. In attendance too will be spoken word poets, influencers, videographers and basically everyone who can compose a distinct audio-visual reality.
“We are in contact with architects, interior designers, graphic designers and basically everyone who enjoys bringing abstractions to life. There will also be side attractions, including games, photo booths, performances, VR station for kids, and 3D virtual art displays,” he said.
Mr Sipe further called on all creatives and influencers to do short videos introducing and showcasing themselves on social media.
“We will have a contest where people would take pictures or paint a notable Nigerian landmark and share their inspiration with us.
“Participants must hashtag their photos or paintings with #Padebyecobank to participate. There will also be a raffle draw on social media to determine who wins the free family photoshoot during the exhibition. This is open to people who attend the exhibition. It is a total package,”
Prime Video Intensifies Efforts to Cut Market Share of Netflix, Others in Nigeria
By Adedapo Adesanya
Global streaming service, Amazon’s Prime Video, has increased its investment in Nigeria with customers now able to sign up for the streaming service in the local currency, Nigerian Naira, a move that will see it compete with Netflix and other competitors in the Nigerian market.
The news comes as Prime Video’s first local marketing campaign for Nigeria launches with the announcement of two Local Amazon Originals for Nigerian customers, Gangs of Lagos and LOL: Last One Laughing Naija.
In a release, it said for N2,300 per month, customers in Nigeria can sign up for a Prime Video membership at PrimeVideo.com and enjoy a great selection of entertainment, including global Amazon Original movies and TV series, popular Hollywood titles, exclusive Nollywood movies, and local Nigerian originals coming soon.
Prime Video members can also stream and download and watch anytime, anywhere through the Prime Video app on compatible mobile devices, tablets, Smart TVs, or online at PrimeVideo.com.
Customers can also control the amount of data they use by selecting Good, Better, or Best streaming quality, or downloading on their mobile device for offline viewing later.
Speaking on the foray into the Nigerian market, Mr Josh McIvor, director of International Expansion, Prime Video said, “We’re delighted to be increasing our investment in Prime Video for customers in Nigeria, making it a truly localised experience.
“From local payment and a full-scale local marketing campaign to more local content specifically for Nigerian customers, our investment in Nigeria is a significant step towards our broader expansion plans in Africa and our ambition to be the most local of global streaming services.”
Adding her input, Mrs Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, head of Nigerian Originals, Prime Video said, “We know our customers want to see locally relevant faces, places, and stories alongside our global content on Prime Video, so we’re excited to be bringing Nigerian customers these brand-new Local Amazon Originals, Gangs of Lagos and LOL: Last One Laughing Naija, which will complement our growing selection of Nollywood and African series and movies.
“The news signals our continued commitment to the Nigerian TV and Film industry, bringing the very best of authentic, homegrown stories to not only our customers in Nigeria but also Prime Video members around the world.”
Prime Video noted that both local productions build on recent film deals made by the service including an exclusive commissioning slate deal with Nemsia Films for three feature films, beginning with Breath of Life, launching next year.
Other exclusive licensing agreements include deals with leading Nigerian production studios Inkblot Studios and Anthill Studios, bringing Prime Video customers exclusive access to their movies after theatrical releases, such as box-office hit King of Thieves, Superstar, Progressive Tailors Club, Bad Comments, and Badamasi, which are currently available to watch. This highlights the commitment by Prime Video to deliver local and authentic African films to a global audience of more than 200 million Prime members worldwide.
The new Nigerian Originals will join Prime Video’s selection of global Amazon Original series like The Boys, The Terminal List, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and upcoming, highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, as well as popular Amazon Original movies like Coming 2 America, The Tomorrow War, and Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse.
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