BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
Actors of the Yoruba sector of Nollywood have cried out concerning the level of poverty in the industry that is mostly caused by piracy in addition to the poor economy.
Saidi Balogun, Antar Laniyan, Salami Adebayo, Yinka Quadri and Kikelomo Kuojo spoke to Encomium about the problem.
Saidi Balogun said, “My brother, it’s true there is poverty in the industry at the moment. So serious that people find it difficult to cope unless I want to be economical with the truth.”
He continued, “Movie industry is not what it used to be. Most of us can’t charge professionally again. We just settle for whatever the producers are ready to offer. Most of us producers are afraid of investing in movies now because of pirates who are always waiting to reap where they didn’t sow. We just want the Federal Government to come up with a strong anti-piracy law so that those criminals will not send us out of the industry. Equally, we all need to speak in one voice, have a common umbrella. Let’s all the associations come to one body so that we can fight and conquer the menace.”
Yinka Quadri suggested that, “To get out of the menace, we need serious attention of the government. Our lawmakers should make a very strong law against piracy, not the one that a culprit would only pay just N10,000 after having pirated about N20 million worth of movie. That’s unfair.”
An inside source also told Encomium that a lot of actors are only parading fake lifestyles as most of them cannot afford to make ends meet.
“Things are very tough now in the industry, especially among those of us in the Yoruba genre. A lot of us can’t afford three square meals anymore. We only parade in fake lifestyles. Some can’t even afford rent.”
“Most marketers are not even encouraged to finance movies at the moment because with continued activities of pirates, they’re not sure of making anything out of their efforts. That’s why you see many actresses who have godfathers, sugar daddies opening up different businesses, and whenever location calls, they honour the call. But the situation is not the same with men. You just have to overwork yourself to survive. We live fake lifestyles now.”
The source also explained that piracy is the major problem of the industry and called on the Federal Government to assist them in battling the cankerworm.
“I believe it’s only when the Federal Government is ready to support us in our fight against piracy that we can succeed. We alone can’t win the battle.”
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