What have you been working on lately?
There is always a movie to work on. I was in set of a production where I had to play a police detective. The role required me to shave off my beard.
I just did an epic movie, my first ever in Abia State. I have always wanted to do things like running around half naked in a village setting.
It was a new world to me. I’m looking at a stage play sometime later in the year. It is important to do one or two stage plays to keep in touch with my creative juices.
Have you entertained the thought of producing your own movies?
I can’t deny that it has not crossed my mind but for now the business environment for movies is still not where it should be and that is a huge challenge.
I commend those who are producers in this very hostile business environment.
Though they should be motivated by profit, but in our peculiar situation, you find out that they are mainly motivated by the passion of filmmaking.
I have noticed that 70 per cent of them don’t break even from what they put out there. Distribution channels still pose a challenge.
We should put our business environment right so we could be in control of our content. Netflix is coming in and are providing platforms where we can have a successful business relationship and wonderful profit making avenue. The risk is that we may end up compromising our content
Do you think online distribution can be a solution?
Yes it could be a solution if the Nigerian factor doesn’t affect it.
We are very fond of doing that. Even if it succeeds, there is also the fear that our content has to be compromised; which is something I have always projected about our films.
We should always be in control. We should put our business environment right so we could be in control of our content.
Netflix is coming in and are providing platforms where we can have a successful business relationship and wonderful profit making avenue. The risk is that we may end up compromising our content.
Can you elaborate on the Nigerian factor?
It is basically corruption whereby someone comes in with good intention and then some people go behind the back and tell them that they don’t have to do it this way; that integrity really doesn’t matter, which further aggravates the situation.
Do you think then that the future is bleak for Nollywood?
Not at all. The future of Nollywood is very strong because of one key thing: the people. And then our resilient nature which boldly never gives up no matter what.
I think we are the only people in the world that survive irrespective of the business situation. We are that hardened.
I think this is the only country that is not supported by the government in any way whatsoever and yet still succeed.
We are the only economy that has no social amenities for the people like job unemployment stipends and yet we still succeed.
That is why we are still successful in whatever we do. It is this aspect of the Nigerian factor that will keep Nollywood alive.