The Nigerian events sector is undoubtedly one of the industries greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An events manager and entrepreneur, Akinlolu Jekins Jikiemi has averred that although the pandemic has affected the events industry, virtual reality events are the new alternative for the sector.
According to him ”to be honest, I would be lying if I say we are not affected. We have been badly hit by the pandemic. Comedy shows like the Seyilaw Tour and other events slated for the months of April, May, June have all been moved and postponed till next year. We have been re- strategizing and restructuring. We are planning and projecting towards 2021. The alternatives to tours and events would be Virtual Reality events. Zoom can also help with online events”.
Akinlolu who has worked with the likes of Eldee, AliBaba, Helen Paul, Okey Bakassi and a host of others added that he was underestimated when he started out.
”Part of the price I paid was being underestimated. A lot of people thought I didn’t have what it takes. They perceived me as someone who couldn’t succeed. However my dedication, being focused despite losing a lot of money, kept me going. Working under pressure also helped to shape who I have become”.
Comparing the entertainment sector in the UK to that of Nigeria, he said: ”The major differences are evident. Lack of proper structures, lack of good legislations, absence of crowd control and discipline. Also we don’t have enough marketing platforms. Nigerians need to be more comfortable to buy and purchase online, not only at the event venue”.
On how he was able to overcome the numerous challenges and setbacks, he said:” We observed, studied and mastered the UK entertainment market and also worked with the comedians from Nigeria , Ghana , South Africa that were ready to put in the work and communicate to a diverse audience. We entered into more partnership with most of our clients to make each project a successful one.”