The entertainment industry has been hit by the death of another vital stakeholder, Efere Ozako, a lawyer whose frantic agitation for the right of the entertainer to profit has changed the business orientation of entertainers for better.
Ozako, Multichoice Nigeria’s Legal Adviser, and prominent participant at various entertainment conferences, made a debut with a business forum, Dtalkshop, in 2006, which he ran with his cousin, Kaine Agari, author of Yellow-Yellow.
One of Ozako’s closest allies, Mrs. Amaka Igwe appeared too stunned to say a word, when contacted on telephone. She wept quietly. Agari’s phone continued to ring unattended.
Ozako, was said to have suddenly fallen ill yesterday, after which he was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, where he gave up the ghost. Unconfirmed reports say he died of cardiac arrest. He was 49-year-old.
Dtalkshop, publishers of TAKAii magazine, Nigeria’s premier law tabloid is a legal agency run by Ozako and Agari, which came to prominence with a workshop series tagged, Wetin Lawyers Dey Do … Sef?; a forum meant to awaken the filmmakers to the reality of their right to live and feed well through their artistic endeavors. The group frowned at the activities of pirates and similar rights infringers. The group’s second edition of Wetin Lawyers Dey Do… Sef? was a symposium under the theme: “The Entertainment Industry; Where is the Money? The Role of the Lawyer and other Professionals Explored and Defined”.
Ozako’s pursuit of a commercially viable and respected entertainment industry was unequaled. He saw the commercial potential of the Nigerian film industry as a situation that is largely untapped. And thus, through Dtalkshop, he had engaged various economic experts through workshops and seminars sought to educate stakeholders on how to harness the business and professional ends of the emerging industry which has been rated in terms of quantum.
The first edition of the Dtalkshop workshop series tagged “The Law, The Lawyer and Business of Entertainment” which held on July 27, 2006 in Lagos, Nigeria had over 100 participants who were also treated to topics like “Understanding, Owning, Recognising and Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights”; “Finance 101 for the Entertainment Industry”; “A Walk Through Contracts”; and “Comparative Lessons from the UK and South Africa”.
The second event was being supported by agencies like the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Film Corporation, National Sports Lottery, NewAge Communications and Brickwall Communications. These agencies and organizations also presented papers on their plans for the development of the industry. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for instance, as part of its continuing effort to enlighten the public on taxation and contribute to the development of non-oil industries, addressed taxation issues in the entertainment industry.