The Nigerian Film Industry also known as Nollywood, which was established since 1960s with the purpose of entertaining the public and creating jobs, in a country that relies mainly on Oil and Agriculture is still doing well till date.
Fact has it that the Nollywood Film Industry generates $590 million annually and produces about 50 movies per week, compared to Hollywood and Bollywood.
Meanwhile, in 2013, The Nigerian Cinema was rated as the ‘Third Best and Most Valuable Film Industry in the World.’ All these accolades and successes merited by the Film Industry would not have been a 100% reality if the actors and actresses were not present in the scene of production.
But it is disheartening and discouraging to Nigerians and especially the aspiring actors and actresses to behold that some major actors and actresses in the Film Industry whom they see as role models who has showcased their talents skillfully and relentlessly to its peak are financially unbalanced – they are broke financially while the Film Industry is financially buoyant and still standing in tall glory of success.
The direct question now is, ‘are Nollywood Actors and Actresses being paid well for their works of talent? Or is the Film Industry basically for just fame and not monetarily inclusive?’
Popular Nollywood Veteran Actor, Ajirebi Kayode Olasehinde, also known as Pa James in ‘Papa Ajasco’ was recently reported to have been made homeless by flood in Lagos. This incident according to Pa James, was not its first occurrence. He said that, “his former home at Oke Isegun was sometime wiped off by the same flood in which his family pleaded with the Federal Government for assistance severely for aid but got no sign of feedback. But this time, a popular fellow also in the Film Industry, Funke Akindele, came to his rescue with a new apartment.
Nevertheless, other Actors who pleaded for help but got little or nothing before they died were: Olumide Bakare, Enebeli Elebuwa, Prince James Uche, Ashley Nwosu and others. These Nollywood Celebrities died out of poverty, many are still seeking arms and are still dying.
Some of these actors and actresses may have played the role of a Wealthy person or a lead role and acted it perfectly, does not mean they are also wealthy in the real world. It is basically all about acting. Some are opportune to bag a contact as an advert ambassador to a company due to their popularity and attractiveness for a particular period in other to boost the company for a better sales, while some invest in a personal businesses, all to support whatever they get in the Film Industry so as to sustain their livelihood.
I can not dictate for the Nigerian Film Industry on what to do, rather, I humbly suggest that both Nollywood Actors and Actresses should be financially cared for.
Their welfare should be added ‘in the priority’ of both the Nigerian Film Industry and the government, because their skillful and relentless contribution in the Film Industry has without doubt attracted both recognition and riches to the country.