The world has consumed Nigeria’s crude oil for more than half a century. Now, a group of performers from the Niger Delta, the primary source of Nigeria’s oil, which is responsible for over 80 percent of the country’s GDP, are exporting something else – music. They are about to execute a jaw-dropping outing in New York, bringing their stories, their music, their pain, their fashion, food, and everything else.
Following the development, Buckwyld Media Network and BHM have announced a landmark partnership to develop and execute a range of international showcases exploring the culture and creativity of Nigeria, the home of Nollywood, Afrobeat, Jollof Rice and more.
In a statement signed by Efe Omorogbe, chief executive officer, Buckwyld Media Network and Ayeni Adekunle, founder of BHM, the companies say the project is aimed to provide an alternative narrative to ‘the stories out there about Nigeria and Nigerians’; and to provide a platform for other aspects of the Nigerian folklore, culture, and experiences to travel and thrive, as Nigerian music and film continue to go mainstream.
Naija To The World, as the exhibit will be called, will debut at the world-famous Apollo Theatre in New York City on September 16, 2023, after traversing several Nigerian cities from Lagos to Port Harcourt, Benin, Abuja, Jos.
An initial event will focus on telling cultural stories and providing music and related experiences from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria where at least 10 out of 20 talents in the creative industry have emerged over the past 25 years. The region was selected because of its rich cultural history as well as its struggles to achieve creative and economic success and stability despite providing over 80 percent of Nigeria’s GDP.
“We are beyond excited for the opportunity to co-host this new series of cultural showcases around the US and later other parts of the world. The plan is to tell original African stories through live concerts, exhibitions, films, documentaries, and so on.
“The first installment will focus on the Niger Delta region of Nigeria where most of Nigeria’s crude oil comes from but which continues to be troubled, abandoned, and impoverished. The world already knows this and many have had cause to use the oil directly or indirectly. But what many do not know is that most of the African pop music dominating the world right now also comes from there (Burna Boy For example). So, we want to showcase the music, the food, the fashion, and the literature from a place many only previously associated with oil and violence,” Ayeni said.
The organisers say a documentary is in the works, as well as pop up events around Nigeria and parts of New York City. The Apollo Theatre Concert will provide an opportunity to hear previously untold stories from the south-south region of Nigeria; and to put names, faces, and links to some of the biggest art to emerge from Nigeria over the past 100 years – from poetry to music, film, dance, and comedy.
“Against a backdrop of multi-billion dollar operations and squalid communities, confounding extremes that seem to leave the polity constantly tethering on the brink of crisis, the Niger Delta region remains the premiere incubator for talent in Nigeria. Talent who have continually shaped the course of creative enterprise in Nigeria; talent who are driving the redefinition of Nigeria’s national identity and burgeoning soft power; talent who are primed for world domination and seem unwilling to let anything deter them from reaching their goal,’’ Omorogbe added.
Naija To The World, the Niger Delta Experience; a star-studded iconic concert exhibition at the famous Apollo Theatre in New York, promises to celebrate the music and culture of the people of Nigeria’s oil-rich cities; the culture of Ken Saro-Wiwa; the culture of Burna Boy, of Don Jazzy, of Timaya, Rema and so many more.
It is expected that at least 10 million fans will participate through pop-up events and talent shows and a series of community events around historic African communities in America, culminating in the live concert exhibition at the Apollo Theatre on September 16 featuring a carefully selected entourage of emerging and leading actors, comedians, designers, chefs, musicians and performers from Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
1,500 fans will witness history and watch live at the Apollo, while at least 10 million more will listen and watch through broadcast partners across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
N2TW is the first installment of the original African exhibition concert series which will happen annually, and feature the brightest and biggest stars from Nigeria and other parts of Africa headlining at the most iconic music venues around the world.
Apart from live curated concerts, the series will also produce themed biographies, biopics, and documentaries in partnership with select platforms