By Niyi Tabiti
When I set foot on a magnificent hotel in Lagos last week, a big brother and senior colleague was waiting for me.We have always been in constant touch anytime he is in Nigeria. He clocked 40 recently and he told me that he is ready to go all the way for the Nigerian entertainment. This time, he is bringing a bouquet of concepts that would shake the industry.The entertainment baron told www.niyitabiti.blogspot.com he is ready to jump from tree to tree with spectacular skills that would create excitement.The revolution begins now.
Don’t be alarmed, UK based Nigerian filmmaker and television producer Ayo Shonaiya is not going to attack or bite you, he’s only expressing himself creatively and also promoting his new multi-faceted project called KONG.
KONG is actually an acronym for King Of Nigeria Group, a new entertainment outfit starting in Nigeria in 2009 (the name is from King of my Country, Ayo most popular film). It involves music, television, special events and raves (parties), fashion, comedy and an internet blog. “KONG Nation is a whole movement, not only an entertainment company, it’s like a country where the Blue Gorilla is King”.
So does that mean that Ayo is also the Blue Gorilla? “Yes and no”, says Ayo, “since I just turned 40, I feel I can do anything I want now because my life has just started. Some of my friends now call me A40. A40, Blue Gorilla, I don’t care, as long as you write Ayo Shonaiya on the cheque”. The parent company for KONG Nation is still the popular and groundbreaking R70 World, Ayo’s UK based company responsible for the early success of BEN TV, the Intro Independence Jam, Stars on the Runway fashion show and many many more including being the former management company for the likes of K1 the Ultimate and D’banj. R70 World was started 12 years ago by Ayo as a film production company but now has developed into the No.1 entertainment brand in the UK for anything Nigerian. R70 World is from now on focussing on film and television projects. A new reality TV series called ‘United States of Nigeria’ is starting on several stations in Nigeria in January and then there’s ‘Green Shorts’, a short film project to develop new and aspiring Nigerian filmmakers starting in February. KONG’s first offering is a new R&B artiste called Michael who is in the studio recording his first album right now, and he will be officially launched to the public at an event tagged ‘The Birth of KONG’ sometime in March 2009 in Lagos. The event will feature artistes and special guests from the UK and the USA including Naira, a young singer/rapper from Atlanta who’s also going to be under the KONG Music umbrella. R70 World will open its office in Lagos in January 2009. “I think it’s time we open a full service office in Lagos to complement our other branches in London and Atlanta. Now we have the 3 continent triangle all set to run on full speed” concludes Ayo, or is it the Gorilla we have been talking to? We shall see soon.