Barely two weeks ago (Jan. 20), Teni shared a hilarious clip that found her screaming “zero refund” as she hastened to catch her flight for a show which she appeared to be running a little late for. “Collecting all, no cancellation. If you book Teni for a show, she’s there”, the singer went on to state as she manoeuvred her way into the airline shuttle.
Her non-phoney persona and ever humorous antic which was very much on display in the said video caused the clip to go viral. It sits with nearly half a million views on her Instagram page, making it her most viewed IG video of 2019 so far.
Far from the hilarity, that video also echoed a reality; Teni has been the busiest Nigerian artiste since December 2018 as nearly every single day came with a performance obligation. She was the most booked artiste and eventual face of ‘Detty December 2018’.
How it came to be
Teni’s journey from obscurity to celebrity is one that is quite familiar, thanks to social media.
In the last quarter of 2016, the singer became a viral sensation after one of her freestyles caught the attention of many. Bought over by the degree of her skill, spontaneity and charm, the video got rapid organic circulation across social media platforms.
Seeing how the internet reacted to the freestyle, which was a humorously-conscious musing about consent over the instrumental of Osadebe’s 1980 classic, Osondi Owendi, Teni released an official version dubbed, Fargin (a coinage from the English word, Virgin). Of course, fans gravitated towards it, and it has since been from one impressive record to another.
Confident, individualistic, bloomy and fluid are the words that best describe her art and persona. She defied the stereotypical music industry standard of how a female artiste should look as she unabashedly rocks comfortable and colourful oversized tops, baggy pants and bold sneakers.
With no album or project of any sort, Teni graciously worked her way to the top and become an unignorable force in the music sphere – credits to her 2018 smash hits, Askamaya, Case and more recently, Uyo Meyo. What’s not to love about an unquestionably talented singer who is also able to brighten your day with social media shenanigans that resonate.
Teni checks all the right boxes required to thrive in this era. She is one of the few that have been able to transcend ears to hearts. She is a fan favourite and this is totally responsible for her numerous wins and overwhelming demand.
December in Nigeria
December is often the high point of entertainment in Nigeria. Corporates and individuals set out to tap into the spending habits that festivity breeds and events have in the past years, proven to be the perfect medium.
From the IJGBs, usual social enthusiasts to visiting friends and family members, everyone seeks out social experiences that’ll help them bring the year to an exhilarating close. This demand has caused December to become the climax of showbiz in Nigeria.
As they say, variety is the spice of life and every event has its offer in terms of aesthetic and overall experience. There are indoor concerts, intimate gigs, open-air festivals and beach-side events. You can choose what fits your pocket and aligns with your interest.
Some six weeks ago, we reported that the famous indoor venue, Eko Convention centre would make around 180 million naira from the overwhelming number of events that held at the 5,000 capacity arena in December 2018 alone. The also popular outdoor venue, Eko Atlantic city was used for a number of massive festivals while smaller indoor venues like Landmark, Federal Palace, Hard Rock Cafe etcetera also enjoyed patronage.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of this social spurge are perhaps musicians, who are tasked with the duty of offering guests and attendees show-stopping performances in exchange for big bags. December is usually the time of the year when the hottest artistes make instantaneous harvest for their hits. A time when as a “popping” artiste, the only thing that can stop you from securing the bag is your lack of grit or discipline to set out on time and scale every single challenge that may pose to hinder you from making it to an event venue (recall the Teni video).
Teni happened to be the most booked Nigerian artiste in December. On some days like December 14 and 21, she had to appear at about six different shows. The singer performed at up to 34 events in 31 days (Dec 1st – 31st). From private gigs to indoor festivals, corporate end-of-year events, outdoor gatherings, brand activations, festivals and fashion shows, Teni cashed in real big.
The singer charges anywhere between N2 million – N2.5 million for intra-state functions (Lagos bound) and N3.5 million for interstate events. In December alone, Teni performed at seven functions outside Lagos (Delta state, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Abuja, Enugu, Ibadan and Abeokuta) yielding a sum of N24.5 Million in revenue.
She also made appearances and performed at about twenty-seven gigs in Lagos. Although a number were the headline concerts of her colleagues, some of whom she is close with, business transactions are usually handled professionally so that all concerned are happy at the end of the day. From Lagos bound performances, Teni made about N54 million in revenue.
At the end of December, Teni and her team would have cleared a whopping sum of N78.5 million.
Teni’s papa might not be Dangote or Adeleke, but she’s definitely working her way to billionaire status.
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