MOHBAD’S DEATH: RETHINKING INSURANCE FOR ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

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By Tope Adaramola

It’s not news anymore that the death and controversy surrounding the premature exit of music star, Ileri Oluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly called Mohbad, has continued to rage. The musician whose life eclipsed in mysterious circumstances still being unraveled by the police and other state authorities seem to have had a larger than life posture in death even more than when he lived.

Aside from the gale of media reportage and groundswell commiseration rallies held in several states in the country and even abroad, underscoring the deep grief of his fans and other sympathetic admirers, the death of Mohbad has triggered necessity for entertainment stars and insurance operators to appraise the need for insurance in the nation’s entertainment space.

Needless to say the entertainment industry in Nigeria is huge and has continued to balloon exponentially to the extent that we cannot afford to be dismissive of its value to the country’s sustainable national economic growth.

In 2021 alone, the music sector of the entertainment industry made up of artists, musicians, producers, promoters, managers, distributors and marketers employed about a million people and generated over $8 billion for the economy.

Recent report in the Vanguard Newspapers averred that “to put the financial impact of Nollywood on the socio-economic landscape, in proper perspective, we must consider the known fact that the movie industry in Nigeria is currently ranked second largest film industry globally, with financial value of the film industry alone put at over $6.4 billion as of 2021”.

Against the backdrop of this huge potential is the painful gaping hole of insurance, which is meant to create peace of mind for the operators as it also serves as a safety valve against any unforeseen circumstances that may happen to the lives and property of the operators.

The narrative surrounding the painful case of Mohbad as a rising star would have been different, for instance, if he had health insurance that would have guaranteed him a better health treatment in a top line hospital befitting his status, where his medical history and proper diagnosis would have been taken.

Even if the inevitable –death- happens, there would have been more scientific explanation to such occurrence. With a life policy incepted, it would have been easier for the assurance company to trigger the legal aspect of the policy to address issues relating to threat to life of the singer, taken over by the underwriters’ life office. The idea of having a Trust in place by the deceased would just have been spot on.

The beneficiaries of the trust which in the case is the only child of Mohbad, would have had assurance of having rightful access to his properties and all royalties that may accrue from his works on a continuous basis, without any tinge of controversy or rip off.

It is within the prism of insurance too for the deceased to have put in place educational endowment for his only son, to take care of his educational aspiration to any level he desires.

Although it is typical of humans to emotionalize as we have seen under this type of circumstances, emotions hardly come with sustainable results to the departed or dependents on the long run.

Pardon me to say that all the candle lights procession would soon die off and reality of life after the deceased would soon set in fully. Insurance must be an attractive option for any player in the entertainment world, as they ply their profession with attendant risks on a daily basis to their lives and property.

In concluding, the insurance industry operators should on its part accelerate and redirect their product development and marketing attention towards the entertainment world. They need to come to terms with the humongous opportunities burgeoning in the entertainment sector by creating more sexy products that would attract the peculiar clients.

It stands to reason why insurance operators give prime attention to what they perceive as strategic sectors such as oil and gas, energy, marine, aviation etc, and seem to be looking away from the entertainment industry which is the new gold field for the industry if deliberately explored.

This huge gap must be closed.

There is no gainsaying that the case of Mohbad’s death, though sad, could just be an eye opener for the insurance industry on the one hand and the operators of the entertainment industry on the other hand for the mutual benefits of both parties.

Tope Adaramola is a Chartered PR & Chartered Insurer, a prolific writer, Speaker & Public Affairs commentator. He is also the Executive Secretary & CEO of The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers

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