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Show business should re-brand Nigeria

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By Lari Williams

Stage and Screen can spearhead the campaign of Re-Branding Nigeria but should be keenly guarded by the knowledge and wisdom of active Censors Board.

Also reviewing, reconstructing the Arts and Culture ministry, will ginger fresh interest in Arts and give the Industry the credibility and vitality it needs to invite Government and Private Sector support in giving the necessary service to Re-Branding Nigeria.

It is not all about cultural dances to welcome Guests and Dignitaries at Air Terminals; or Home Movies recycling stories of fallen Pastors preaching ‘Christ is the answer’ to the converted, Home video traders have overtaken the Entertainment Market.

Now we have film makers without Film Industry, in fact most  of our indigenous and pioneer film makers have been forced to retire to other forms of art. Thanks to Ben Bruce for keeping the cinema culture going, with the showing of foreign films, which seem to be exempted from Nigeria’s Films Censoring.

The Ministry of Arts and Culture, the Censors board, Nigeria Film Corporation and all the Stake Holders of the Nigerian Entertainment Industry, should find out and be in compromise about the existence of this one tribe Home Video click named Nollywood, Branding Half Baked actresses “Nollywood Actresses” as Nigerian Movie Stars.

I have never heard of “Hollywood actresses”, nor Elstree or Pine Wood Actress, yet those places exist in America and England as studios, but here we don’t have studios or reserved areas called Nollywood yet we name exposed bossom displayed on newspaper spread “Nollywood Actress”.

Most of such characters on set, take ten shots before we get a good one. They piece them together to a make a movie and they become stars. None of such girls have the nerve or voice to project on stage through a 500 capacity auditorium.

How do we build an Industry with no good stories, no impressive camera shots and no good actors. Our Universities are churning out unemployable graduates. They should be advised to train more actors, not just theatre historians who end up looking for bank jobs and ‘Personal Assistant’ jobs or increasing the queues of jobless graduates.

The industry needs them for production. Every Stage Production needs a good number of Actors, Stage Managers, Directors, Producers, Prop. Managers, Lights, Sound Men, etc,  To every movie Production, but where do we get them from, if they tell you they are majoring in Arts Criticism, Script Writing, Theatre History Etc.

The Arts Ministry needs to turn attention to some of these tips to build a force that can serve this nation in producing movies of our Universities Theatre Art’s departments. Films like Oyenusi, Cry Freedom, Aiye etc. have more meaning and make more meaning to our History and Society.

The Government should support the Industry to serve the Nation. This is one Industry that is so disorganized, it has no rules. It is free to admit all, touts or traders, no quality controls, no endowment funds, and no retirement benefit. Yet the Minister find time to propose Five – Star Hotels.

It is now more than any other time in history of Nigeria for the Government to mobilize the Entertainment Industry to render this all time service to the Nation. Yes, Nigeria needs re-branding and it could best be done through Stage.

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