Award nominated British-Ugandan Filmmaker Norman Busigu, in partnership with Jendaya (a luxury E-commerce platform for the global consumer) creates a ground-breaking documentary exploring the power of Nigeria’s youth in shaping its future.

5th July 2023 saw Norman Busigu’s televised world exclusive interview with Channels Television (Africa’s most awarded television station), where he revealed the upcoming documentary.

British-Ugandan Filmmaker, Media Broadcaster and Fashion Model Norman Busigu, together with Lagos (Nigeria) based production company The Milade Films, have created a ground-breaking documentary which critically examines the role the youth of Nigeria (and more widely, in the diaspora) in shaping Nigeria’s future. This documentary also explores what direction Nigerians feel and believe their country is going in, and, if it can live up to its potential of becoming a global superpower.

In creating his second (and highly anticipated) documentary titled “Nigeria: Can its Youth Shape its Future?” Norman voyaged from London (UK) to Lagos, Nigeria throughout July 2023 and chronicled his exciting all-access journey. In doing so, Mr Busigu set out on a quest to build a holistic picture of what Nigeria is in its current state and most importantly, an understanding of the role that the youth will play in what its future looks like.

This is analysed from two dimensions: first, Nigeria’s socio-political/socio-economic developments, and secondly, the arts – namely, music, and the visual arts. Norman knew that in order to authentically explore this topic, he would need to interview Nigerians operating in various sectors, visit key hotspots in Lagos, and dive knee deep into everyday Lagos life and any (cultural) events happening at the time.

First, regarding Nigeria’s socio-politics/economics, this is explored against the backdrop of Nigeria’s recent (and arguably most important) election in its contemporary history that took place in February 2023. Some could say that Nigeria is currently at a crossroads: it is riddled with critical issues including national security (extremist attacks, banditry, farmer-herder conflicts etc), a troubled economy, a lack of sufficient social infrastructure (i.e. schools, roads, electricity supply etc) to meet the needs of its 200m+ population, and a brain drain seeing best and brightest talent leaving the country in their droves. Yet, despite this, it still arguably possesses the core elements required to become a global superpower. Within this, Norman set out to analyse how these issues are affecting Nigerians, and solutions that are being devised/implemented. Importantly, what role the youth have in what Nigeria’s future looks like as part of these solutions.

To explore this effectively, Norman conducted an interview with Solape Hammond, The previous Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Special Development Goals and Investments. While at the Impact Hub in Ikoyi, they both thoroughly discuss all things tourism, investment and trade opportunities and future prospects in Lagos i.e. the 30-year development plan for Lagos to become a $1 trillion economy, and how the youth both in Nigeria and diaspora can contribute to this.

Official Press image of Norman Busigu. Image credit: @phlixpro
Official Press image of Norman Busigu. Image credit: @phlixpro

Norman also conducts candid interviews with three young adult Lagosians to discuss the legacy and impact of ENDSARS protests (which they attended) and their views on the state of leadership in the country. To enhance this, the documentary will also include exclusive live footage of the ENDSARS protests in October 2020, captured by The Milade Films. To this effect, Norman explores if Nigeria could be a leader in ushering in a new era among African nations to demonstrate a generational changing of the guard with respect to political involvement and devolution of power, from old to young. Also, the youth as a result of the ENDSARS protests could inspire further action such as mass protests across the continent.

Secondly, through the power of the arts – Norman unpacks how the arts have been a significant vehicle for Afrocentric expression and liberation in Nigeria throughout its modern history: from Fela Kuti to Burna Boy who have used music as a means to communicate the collective conscious of political and emotional thought felt by the masses, but also a means of creating a self-sustaining ecosystem (the Nigerian music industry) while solidifying a national export that has placed Nigeria on the global map for its artistic innovation and excellence.

Norman interviews Solape Hammond, at the Impact Hub in Ikoyi.

To examine these themes in detail, Norman visits the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja to narrate the life and legacy of Fela Kuti, the history of Afrobeat, and its evolution into Afrobeats today. Also, footage is also obtained from a live performance by Femi Kuti capturing the electric atmosphere, and showcasing the magnetic power and might such music has in drawing individuals from all over the world while expressing powerful messages. Norman also spends time at the Nike Art Gallery in Lekki to learn about the power of visual art within Nigerian culture and how it can help foster social change.

Other core elements of the documentary include exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Norman’s studio interview at Channels TV, where he provided a world-exclusive reveal and outline of this upcoming documentary on Nigeria. Also, time is spent at Lekki Conservation Centre to learn about the great things being done to preserve the local ecosystem and help the environment. Lastly, plenty of authentic footage of the sights and sounds of everyday Lagos life.

Femi Kuti live performance at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja (09/07/2023)

Notably, the documentary has an official partnership with Jendaya – a luxury E-commerce Platform for the global consumer. The documentary also boasts an original soundtrack, supplied by British-Nigerian Artist, Kvngs. Post-production work on the documentary is headed by seasoned videographer, editor and international DJ, DJ Reckyy, the founder of Playback. The documentary is currently in the final post-production phase – ideally, the documentary is slated for public release in 2024, with screening events to begin taking place in late 2023.

This documentary is the highly anticipated second instalment in Norman’s portfolio of films. Norman’s mission as a filmmaker is to shift the perception of Africa, debunking displaced narrative. Femi Kuti live performance at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja (09/07/2023) of the continent/African culture and showcasing Africa in a light that is more positive than what typically is presented in (mainstream) Western media. Norman’s first documentary “Ghana: Africa’s Exciting Entry Point?” critically examines the phenomenal rise of tourism in Ghana, and contributing factors causing this prominent trend. The documentary went on to achieve many incredible feats including: being shortlisted as a Semi-Finalist at the Paris International Short Festival (April 2023), screening at Cambridge University, and screening twice at the world-renowned private members club Soho House (with high-profile attendees including members of the Ghanaian High Commission and Deborah Ababio, the Global Entertainment Director for Vogue), airing on British television, and making headline features/news across leading Ghanaian publications.

Norman’s televised interview at Channels TV Studio, Lagos

Notably as a Media Broadcaster, Norman was previously an International News Correspondent for the TV network, BEN Televisions with his own weekly televised slot, and has hosted high-profile events at prestigious venues such as the UK Houses of Parliament. His career highlights as a model include featuring in ELLE during London Fashion Week AW2020, being one of three models selected for Soho House’s official launch campaign for their new skincare line, Soho Skin, and walking for premium African (Nigerian) designer David Wej at a London Fashion week SS2022 show.

By way of context, Mr Busigu was inspired to create this documentary by various factors: Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, is one of the continent’s largest economies, is arguably the most influential democracy in Africa, inspires and holds extremely significant cultural influence globally, and is one of Africa’s biggest oil producers. Lagos is marketed as many things: the commercial capital of West Africa, and Africa’s fastest-growing global city. Impressively, Lagos alone contributes to more than 30% of Nigeria’s GDP and accounts for 90% of Nigeria’s foreign trade flow. With such impressive stats, Nigeria cannot be ignored, and how it positions itself following the February 2023 elections could be an indicator of political developments in West Africa and wider Africa moving forward. But crucial to all of this, is the role of the youth, in Norman’s view – Norman himself being 26 years old. With this in mind, Norman then set out to find an answer, as to whether the youth can shape Nigeria’s future…

Norman interviewing accomplished Nigerian/Lagos-based artist (Photographer) Eric Atie, at the Nike Art Gallery, discussing the power of visual art in bringing social change.

In the long term, Norman has ambitions of travelling across Africa, and creating a series of high-value documentaries which highlight and showcase the beauty, stories, and truths within the continent. Norman has long felt that Western media tends not to portray Africa in the most favourable way. To combat this, Norman wants to create educational, informative and inspiring documentaries from a fresh and youthful perspective that enable everyone to truly see the magic that exists in the Motherland, ultimately, encourage them to visit.

Norman on the Canopy Walk at the Lekki Conservation Centre.

Source: Ghana/