When people talk about the entertainment industry in Nigeria and Ghana and then try to compare them, there are certain factors that are either not well emphasized or even completely left out.
The first factor is the hustling culture. You cannot survive in Nigeria without a hustling spirit. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is over 200 million people chasing after very few and limited opportunities in Nigeria. The situation in Ghana is different. The estimated population of Ghana is 34 million while Lagos alone is close to 30 million. Even sometimes in Nigeria, hustling spirit is not enough without creativity. One has to be very creative. But in Ghana, with minimal effort, one can survive and even make it. The second reason is that the government of Ghana is far more committed to building a society with a working infrastructure and less corruption. But the opposite is the case in Nigeria. You cannot grow up in Nigeria and not be a hustler and creative. The suffering in Nigeria will teach you how to be creative. Don’t forget that creative and breakthrough ideas are born out of challenging situations and Nigeria is a harvest field of challenges.
Another factor is the number of Nigerians in the diaspora which is estimated to be about 30 million which is very close to the population of Ghana at home and in the diaspora. The international recognition of Afrobeats has been adduced to the diaspora population of Nigeria who are party-loving, loud and lousy, and culturally arrogant. Wherever Nigerians go, they go with their culture and exhibit it without apology. Every single Nigerian in the diaspora is more or less like a cultural ambassador in one way or another. Seventy percent of this diaspora are of digital generation which can easily fit into the modern-day digital music distribution. No African country can boast of such a huge diaspora population.
Another factor is the Nigerian vibrant digital market economy which is brought about by the huge population. That is the reason why most of the major music labels and streaming platforms build their businesses around the Nigerian music industry when it comes to music in Africa. This is not limited to these major players alone. There are many bloggers or content creators even in Ghana 80% of what they do is focused on Nigeria so that they can generate traffic or subscribers from Nigerians.
When it comes to digital marketing, you cannot beat Nigeria in marketing techniques some of which are highly manipulative and may not be known to average subscribers. For example, the algorithm manipulation you featured in one of your editorials recently is a classic case of an unethical technique that is not illegal. Many Nigerians can do unethical things as long as it is not illegal. But most Ghanaians won’t do such things because sometimes they assume that anything that is unethical is illegal. That is not always the case because sometimes, some things are unethical and are not illegal while some things are unethical and illegal. Nigerians will take time to identify the demarcation line between being unethical and being illegal.
Finally, Nigerians are risk-takers even when it comes to investment. Nigerian businessmen played and they are still playing a huge role in the success of the Nigerian entertainment industry. Ghanaians, generally are not risk takers. They take their time and they are very careful people.
My regards to the technical crew and your regular brilliant panelists.
By Kayode Fanilola