Written By: Ekine Stronghold
I’d like to take minds back to the presidential dinner that caused quite a stir in nollywood a few months ago. First because it was seen as the celebration of nollywood @ 20 which had been an issue between AMP under the leadership of Mr.Zik Zulu Okafor and other guilds. It was seen as a smarter move by Ms.Peace Anyiam Osigwe to outshine the AMP boss and the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan nailed it. Automatically, any other nollywood at twenty would be a counterfeit. Another issue that arose was that some notable industry players were not invited and when they showed up, they were fenced. To an extent it seemed to rubbish and diminish their position, contribution and achievements in the industry. To put it plainly, if you were not invited you are a nobody.
The names calling came as expected and ofcourse Ms. Peace came out tops. As I would always say I am not a pro peace (she’ll understand) but don’t give a dog a bad name just to kill it. The problem was the “normal” poor data/record keeping of Nigeria. Whoever collated those names didn’t do a good job. Some individuals like beautiful actress/producer Franca Brown got three invites, some practitioners of yore that had no business with nollywood today like Rita Nzelu had invites plus the organizers were very creative, they also invited people from the dead. Late Pete Eneh also got an invite.
In that occasion, nollywood was promised a certain 50million that has landed and some people believe it’s about to tear nollywood apart. Fifty million? Tear a multi billion naira industry apart? Trust me; it’s not impossible if the guild heads make just one wrong move. The money was said to have been hard to collect. AMP president, Mr. zik zulu okafor reported that the money could only come out by the supernatural intervention of sultry actress Stephanie Okereke. He reported that other individuals like Obi Osotule, Zack Orji and PeaceAnyiam Osigwe had tried to access the money on behalf of nollywood but failed. It was by the miracle of super Stephanie that the money came out. We thank her.
For that reason Mr.zik had insinuated to the other guild heads in a meeting that Stephanie wants a cut from the money. I consider that preposterous but unless she comes out openly to deny that, we cannot call Mr. President a liar, why would he go all out to tarnish her image? It is only mind boggling that Stephanie okereke would want a cut for her service to the industry that has made her whatever she is today.
The main issue for me is the fact that Mr.zik zulu and the DGN president Andy Amenechi told the other guild heads that the aides and run-around boys of generous Gov. Godswill Akpabio had insisted on getting a 15% commission of our nollywood cake and had coerced the other guild heads into agreeing though some say they will only support 10% which is almost a norm in the realms of politics. For me that is absolute rubbish and I know that the governor will be embarrassed to hear that. If the governor gives nollywood 50million then it’s got to be 50million. No more, no less. No errand boy or commissioner should get a cut.
The moment other guild heads agree to such manipulations it will set a bad tone for the industry at a time when the country is fighting corruption. Would any commissioner dare that with the NBA? I believe this is the stand of every reasonable practitioner in nollywood, 15% off the nollywood moi-moi is completely unacceptable.