Toyosi Etim Effiong continues to raise the bar in the entertainment world. While growing her brand “That Good Media” she successfully pioneered the inclusion of Nollywood creatives in The Essence Festival. Exquisite magazine is pleased to have an interview with her. Let’s read up on her success story!
EM- PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND BRAND
I’m a Lagos native, raised by the easygoing Taiwo and Temitayo Phillips, who had quite a calm vibe. But I injected some excitement into their world, being quite the handful. I got my education at Corona School Victoria Island, Queen’s College in Yaba, and Bowen University, where I proudly graduated with a spotless 4.0 GPA in Economics. I then ventured to the University of Nottingham for a Master’s in Economic Development and Policy Analysis.
After my Nottingham stint, I returned to Lagos, where I briefly took a detour into Internal Audit at a bank – not exactly my joy-filled realm. Three years later, I jetted off to New York for studies at the New York Film Academy, where I dove into Broadcast Journalism and Producing. I even became a guest contributor for BellaNaija.
Back home again, I dabbled in various roles, from managing productions at NdaniTV to producing and hosting “The Gist with Toyosi Phillips” on Sahara Reporters. But my desire for fun and laughter led me to “Folio by CNN,” where I orchestrated content as Publishing Editor.
Not stopping there, I hatched my own show “As Toyo Sees,” which got the nod from Africa Magic. I even dabbled in producing for big names like Aunty Betty Irabor, Linda Ikeji, and the Adefarasins before I ventured into the realm of entrepreneurship, birthing That Good Media.
EM- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?
It’s been a decade since I quit my job as an internal auditor and took up a broadcast journalism course.
EM- WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO INTO THIS FIELD?
There was a strong pull. I couldn’t fight it even if I tried to and I didn’t try to. I gave into the pull, allowed it to suck me in and engulf me!
EM- TIPS ON HOW YOU STARTED?
I threw myself into it completely. It wasn’t one leg in, one leg out. Of course, different strokes work for different folk but I wasn’t double-minded once I was certain this was the route I wanted to go
EM- TELL US A BIT ABOUT THAT GOOD MEDIA
That Good Media is the child I carried for several years and then birthed, still not fully sure what she was going to be. Over time, she has cleaned up nicely as a Media Company specializing in Talent Management, International Strategic Partnerships and a Creative Solutions Agency catering to the media and marketing needs of individuals and corporations.
EM- TELL US A BIT ABOUT NIGERIA DAY AT ESSENCE FESTIVAL AND HOW THAT WENT.
Nigeria Day at Essence was a showcasing of Nollywood on the Essence Stage as had never been seen before. We went there with not just our content but delegates comprising Nigeria’s brightest Nollywood stars- RMD, Stella Damasus, Daniel Etim Effiong, Omowunmi Dada, and Deyemi Okanlawon to mention a few. We also had US-based Nigerian filmmakers like Toyin Giwa showcase their content to the international audience.
It was a day of pride for us as creatives and as Nigerians
EM- OVER THE YEARS YOU’VE BEEN AN AVID SUPPORTER OF THE ESSENCE FESTIVAL, WHY IS THAT?
The Essence Festival of Culture brings together the crème de la crème of the black community across diverse sectors in the United States.
The festival exudes an aura of inspiration, urging you to strive for the utmost pinnacle in your chosen domain. I recall witnessing Oprah’s live presence on stage during my inaugural attendance, a moment that profoundly impacted a young media industry beginner like me. It felt as if I was gazing at my future unfolding before my eyes.
This is precisely why I wholeheartedly endorse this event. I passionately wish that every young black girl receives the chance to be uplifted and motivated by experiences like this, propelling them towards reaching their greatest aspirations.
EM- HOW BENEFICIAL WOULD THE COLLABORATION WITH ESSENCE FESTIVAL BE TO THE NIGERIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
The relationship between the Nigerian Entertainment industry, primarily Nollywood, and the Essence Festival of Culture is mutually beneficial. Nollywood’s exposure at the esteemed Essence platform has introduced it to an audience that may have had limited awareness before, fostering engagement.
Simultaneously, Nollywood’s influence has attracted attention to the Essence Festival, inspiring individuals from various African countries, such as Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, to attend due to our participation. This collaboration has resulted in the establishment of international strategic partnerships between local companies and foreign agencies, ultimately creating a successful outcome for all parties involved.
EM- WHAT WERE YOUR CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING EACH STAKEHOLDER FROM NOLLYWOOD TO ATTEND THE ESSENCE FESTIVAL FORUM
There were two categories of people- those we approached and those who approached us. Those we approached simply put, had the track record and body of work that could be showcased on an international stage. Those who approached us wanted to be a part of the inaugural Nigeria Day at Essence and who were we to say no?
EM- WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THE GROWTH OF THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA
It’s truly inspiring to witness the remarkable evolution of the entertainment industry in Nigeria. A profound sense of appreciation wells up within me for the trailblazers who ignited this journey and played pivotal roles in shaping its current state.
Reflecting on documentaries like “Afrobeats – The Backstory,” one can’t help but recognize the immense dedication of the music pioneers, underscoring the indispensable role they’ve played in our industry’s advancement.
The contributions of our pioneering filmmakers, including Ola Balogun, Hubert Ogunde, Eddie Ugboma, and Moses Olaiya, alongside visionaries like Mike Bamiloye, who dared to venture into unconventional genres for television, have undeniably laid the foundation for the entire industry to flourish upon.
Their unwavering commitment paved the way for the industry’s growth and success and now we’re benefiting from improved technology and of course exposure to the sounds and techniques of our counterparts globally.
EM- YOU PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN AMVCA 2022 BY INCLUDING HOLLYWOOD, HOW WAS THAT POSSIBLE?
During that period, I was part of an organization tasked with inviting Hollywood talent to the awards ceremony for the very first time. Fortunately, I had cultivated relationships over time that I could utilize to secure the attendance of Hollywood superstars like Tasha and Sidra Smith at the event.
This arrangement proved advantageous for both the celebrities and the occasion itself, as both parties thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
EM- WAS THERE ANY CHALLENGE YOU EXPERIENCED
Challenges are inevitable, such as negotiation hurdles and miscommunications. Nonetheless, the event was ultimately a success, and the talent arrived and returned home without any issues.
EM- WHAT ASPECT WOULD YOU EXPECT SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
The Nigerian government has a pivotal role to play in bolstering the flourishing entertainment industry. Firstly, implementing strategic financial incentives, such as tax breaks and grants, can provide a much-needed boost to artists, filmmakers, and musicians.
These incentives can empower creators to invest more in their craft, produce high-quality content, and explore innovative ideas without the burden of excessive financial constraints.
Secondly, establishing dedicated cultural centres, film studios, and music academies across the country can foster an environment of creative learning and collaboration.
By offering accessible resources and training opportunities, aspiring talents can hone their skills, while established artists can mentor and share their experiences. Moreover, the government’s support in facilitating international collaborations and promoting Nigerian content on global platforms can enhance the industry’s visibility and create new avenues for growth.
Ultimately, a proactive approach from the government can propel the Nigerian entertainment industry to new heights, enriching both cultural expression and economic vitality.
EM: IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO START YOUR CAREER OVER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
I believe that every step I’ve made has led me to this very point however, I would probably start 3 or 4 years earlier
EM- WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
It’s a “Who” and it’s the Holy Spirit showing me visions of the growth and transformations that will occur around and through me if I play my part and play it well. This entire thing is bigger than me.
EM- WHAT ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE TO YOUTHS WITH THE ZEAL TO GO INTO ENTERTAINMENT?
Understand the business of entertainment first. You don’t have to get an MBA or anything like that, even though there’s nothing wrong with that but understand the financial implications and benefits of getting into the entertainment industry.
EM- PLEASE SHARE CONTACT DETAILS YOU WISH TO BE MADE PUBLIC
I’m fairly active on social media
LinkedIn – Toyosi Etim-Effiong
Instagram – @the_toyosi
For business enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a DM to @thatgoodmediahq