BY ADEOLA AKINSEMOYIN
Veteran Nollywood actor Larry Williams has called on philanthropists and well-meaning to help him as he is now homeless and is going blind.
The actor made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Debunking the rumour that he was given a two-bedroom flat by the Federal Government, the actor said “I have heard people say that the Lagos State or the Federal Government had given me a two-bedroom flat somewhere, it is all lies.“
He also lamented the poor state of many veteran entertainers saying, “We served this country and helped to build the entertainment sector that a lot of people are benefiting from today, but there is nothing for people like me to show for it.“
“Most of us are left unsung because of the kind of structure that is being run; we should be having benefits like the civil servants. In other climes, artists live on government subventions and are structured in such a way that they earn from their creative works,” he said.
He then addressed the government saying, “Nigerian cultural policy should be looked into so as to fashion out ways that can benefit the government and the practitioners. The present government should be very careful in whom it will appoint as ministers, that it will sent to the arts sector. We need hands-on individuals to be made ministers. Government needs to have time for the creative sector so that it can have a voice, arts has been the unfortunate ministry. If it is well structured, then we can stop dying poor.“
He further gave examples of his colleagues who died poor.
“Look at Femi Robinson who played the second headmaster-character in the Village Headmaster, a Nigerian television drama, Dan Maraya Jos and others, they all died with nothing. We are not handing over what we have in us to the next generations; because the room was not created for that,” he said.
Larry is a recipient of the Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) national honour.