Worried by the incessant crisis rocking the Nigerian movie industry coupled with the menace of piracy, producer of the popular TV series, “Papa Ajasco” and CEO of Wale Adenuga Productions, Wale Adenuga(MFR) has added his voice on the need for the practitioners to shun anything that will undermine the development of the industry. He also canvasses for the establishment of an umbrella body that will represent the interest of all film makers in the country.
Adenuga made this observation , earlier in the week while addressing the press. He insists that establishing a national body is the only way the industry can move forward in this new dispensation.
In a four-page paper titled, “The Nigerian Film Industry: A Call for Unity”, the veteran film maker whose sojourn in the industry span four decades said, it’s true that all manners of guilds exist in Nollywood, but these guilds are based on sentiments.
According to him, “Our industry is the only one in Nigeria where you do not have a national body or association. This country cannot speak of a national association of film makers, the way that doctors talk about the Nigerian Medical Association,NMA, lawyers talk about the Nigerian Union of Journalists,NUJ. It’s true that we have all manners of guilds but these are all based on sentiments.
I am persuaded to believe that our inability to come together under an umbrella is one of the reasons we have some of the problems that detract from the development of the business of film making in Nigeria.”
Continuing, he said, “I have a feeling that I am not the only one thinking about the urgent need for us to to have a national body for film makers but this has not worked because of the interest of people who exploit the poorly constituted guilds for their personal needs.
Such individuals nurse the fear that they will lose out in a democratic environment and will continue to do everything to resist change.” “Some people will also not support this initiative unless they are sure that they would emerge leaders. They consider the leadership of any such association as their birthright and would not support its establishment unless they are assured of the opportunity to lead.
This is the time for everyone to put their personal ambitions aside and let us all work together for an industry which would be a befitting legacy for our children.” Adenuga said, while he has no personal aspirations, he’s only addressing the issue as a concerned practitioner who is convinced that “we are only scratching the surface of the potentials that abound in the film industry in Nigeria.”
“My hope is that we would work together to see that we attain the heights possible, take our rightful position in the comity of film makers globally and stop our beggarly disposition when we have every opportunity to grow like princess and princess.”
Citing the silent war going on among producers of Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups over the history of film making in the country, menace of piracy, lack of quality control and non government support as part of the problems affecting the growth of the industry, Adeunga maintained that formation of a national body of film makers remains one thing that they cannot avoid if the practitioners are serious about making the best out of the industry.
He advocated the need for the government to institutionalize any funding plan it may have for the industry, adding that this move, will enable legitimate film makers to access loans, grants or other forms of financial aid the government makes available to them.