In August 2008, M-Net, provider of premium pan-African content on the DStv platform, launched a multi-camera, multi-million Naira studio-based soap opera, Tinsel, in Nigeria.
Initially, the soap had a cast, which comprised actors from both Nigeria and Ghana, though Nigeria had over 90 percent of the cast and the crew.
The soap started with a lot of expectations. Aside being a creative concept to entertain fun-loving Nigerians, it was creatively positioned as an economic agenda to keep hundreds of Nigerians gainfully employed while they entertain the viewers.
When it eventually caught the attention of the viewers, it did so with a bang. In no time, it became a leading programme on the entertainment menu of many homes in Africa.
Recently the soap entered its fourth season. The cast and crew took time out in the months of June and July, 2011 to travel round the country to meet with their teeming fans.
They shook hands with them and signed autographs for well-wishers, who were more eager to keep the mementoes from their favourite Tinsel was originally created by Yinka Ogun and produced by the trio of Femi Odugbemi, Jaiye Ojo and Lemmy Adebule.
With over 80 cast and crew from Nigeria and Ghana, the soap was in pre-production for over 90 months. Its Season One’s 65 episodes of 26 minutes each was shot in the Frame 24 Studio located in Ojota, Lagos for over 100 days.
With a few more episodes in the current Season Four, the soap has reached a watershed landmark of 500 episodes, and this called for celebration two months ago, when the management of M-Net rolled out drums to mark the achievement.
Tinsel’s giant leap also saw the popular soap link West Africa with South Africa, as M-Net extends its tentacles in a novel combination of stories from two distinct drama pieces – Jacob’s Cross and Tinsel – with the introduction of Chichi Abayomi, Jacob’s Cross’s lead character’s ‘wayward’ niece, as Philip Ade-Williams’ fiancée in Season Four of Tinsel.
M-Net Africa Managing Director, Biola Alabi,recently restated the commitment of her organisation to continue to raise the bar in the industry.
“M-Net is delighted that Tinsel continues to be a popular series and that it is growing from strength to strength as Nigerian audiences positively react to its storylines and its characters. ” she said.