FIDELITY Bank Plc
yesterday reiterated its
resolve to support operators
in the entertainment
industry.
The bank’s Chief
Executive Officer, Mr.
Nnamdi Okonkwo, said this
on the Fidelity SME Forum
monitored on Inspiration
FM, which he anchored
yesterday. The programme
had popular comedian,
Atunyota Akporobomerere,
whose stage name is
Ali Baba. Okonkwo
said when Fidelity Bank
decided to play in the SME,
management of the bank
sat down and crafted a
strategy about how to add
value to the sector. “For
about seven years now,
our strategy has been to
focus on segments. A lot of
people get entertained by
musicians; they see people
in the movie industry and
get entertained. But we
as bankers, we look at the
business components of
what people do and how to
transform those talents into
business.
“If you recall, in the past,
comedy was like people
wearing funny clothes,
dressed like clowns and
to make people laugh. But
somewhere along the line,
certain people like Ali Baba
began to refine things
and people realised that
you can actually make a
living out of comedy. The
same thing with music and
the movies. In the past, a
lot of people did not see
the business side of things.
“So, we are here to help this
industry identify the business
side of their industry and
teach them basic business
principles such as access to
finance, access to business,
and how you can even
begin to diversify beyond
entertainment,” he added.
According to Okonkwo,
the bank has an SME division
called the Managed SMEs unit
which is saddled with the task
of ensuring that operators
in the SME segment get the
desired support. He revealed
that the end of the sixth week
of the ongoing SME Forum
series on the entertainment
industry, Fidelity Bank would
thereafter run a free seminar for operators in the industry.
“A lot of people are clueless
about finance. Indeed, that is
why the CBN takes financial
literacy seriously. It is in line
with this that
Fidelity Bank tries to help
these people the money and
business part of what they do.
We have seen superstars go
down to penury, from being
millionaires and billionaires
and we don’t want that to
happen to our entertainment
industry players. So, that
seminar would look at people
who succeeded
in the past and suddenly
became poor because of
management of their finances.
Whether you are an Ali Baba Don Jazzy, P-Square, etc,
what matters is at the end of
the day is how you are going
to sustain your brand,” he
added.
On his part, while speaking
about how he has been able
to sustain his brand profile,
Akporobomerere said: “First
you must understand that
showbiz is dynamic and you
are as good as your last joke.
So, like in every other kind
of business, if you rely on
old landmarks, you will lose
the footprints of the future.
“So, for me, it is that I
continue to make sure that I
improve myself, I try to get
better and that I am never
complacent in my career


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