BY SHAMAN MOMOH
Yesterday, TNS exclusively reported that comedian turned filmmaker Yibo Koko had been fired from his position as Head of Productions for Africa Magic. Yibo Koko was employed just 8 months ago.
In a swift reaction, a spokesman for MultiChoice, Efosa Aiyevbomwan spoke with TNS Chief Correspondent yesterday, ‘Segun Odejimi, and said: “He resigned out of his own volition because, as you know, he is a very creative person and he wanted more control and to focus more on the creative direction of our newest sitcom…Mr. Yibo Koko is still involved with Africa Magic.“
However, insider sources have revealed to TNS that Yibo Koko was indeed fired from the position, contrary to what the spokesman for MultiChoice said, and that the consultancy deal is just soft landing for the former creative consultant to the Rivers State Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
According to TNS sources who have pleaded for anonymity due to closeness to the subject, Yibo was fired largely because he failed to pull his weight as head of productions.
“Yibo could not do the job, simple. He understudied Erica [Klopper] for 6 months and still couldn’t do the job. He didn’t understand production processes on a scale as large as Africa Magic. Yibo’s talent as a filmmaker in not in question but Africa Magic has demands beyond just filmmaking, I mean, he wasn’t even reading Tinsel scripts that were sent to him weekly!” said one of TNS sources.
Another source who spoke exclusively to TNS corroborated what the first source said and went further to say that: “Even before he formally took over in April, Yibo had made many people uncomfortable. He is very headstrong and pitched people against themselves. He talked on and on about how he was going to revolutionize Africa Magic but the only programme he commissioned was IK Osakoduwa’s show which isn’t doing very well.”
The problem seems to be more structural than creative. To churn out the volume of productions that oil the wheels of Africa Magic channels, a certain form of organization and process is required and it seems Yibo could not fit into a formal structure that requires such processes. Besides, to infer from chats with TNS sources, Erica Klopper’s shoes may have been just too big for Yibo Koko to fill.
Yibo Koko’s sack, the sources all say, was a quick admission on the part of the organization that his choice had been an error and the sack was a swift move to correct that error. Questions have also been raised concerning how the people responsible for his employment could have made the mistake in the first place.
Yibo Koko was appointed as Head of Production for Africa Magic in October 2014 and is expected to leave the position at the end of June 2015.