By Gabriel Ewepu
An Abuja based Nollywood producer and actress, Happy Julian-Unchendu, has expressed concern over dumping of newborns in public places by young and unprepared mothers across the country.
Julian-Unchendu spoke on this while appraising the movie industry in Nigeria, said her love for these dumped babies who are being raised by orphanages, is because she is a mother who cares, and that has made her to continuously celebrate her birthdays, her son’s birthday, Valentine and others with them in order to give them a sense of belonging, therefore lamented the callous nature of some young girls who give birth and abandon their babies on the streets without human feeling.
According to the Nollywood diva, she has produced over 50 movies, which her maiden is ‘My Mother’s Wife’ produced in 2011, then ‘Illicit Ways ends Illicit’ came after.
She said she ventured into Nollywood as an actress in 2011 after graduating in 2010 from University of Jos, where she studied Microbiology.
Other movies she has produced include Behind the curtains, Heroes and Valiant, The Injury, Blinded, Just Once, Blinded, Good Samaritan, A Day outside, Yes We can, Dear Dairy, Akor, Valarie, and others.
She said in 2012, she produced three films, 2013 had none produced because she was pregnant and traveled to have her baby in 2014, then in 2015 till date she has produced more than 50 movies including hers and other people’s.
She also stated that the industry is being developed by individuals with little or no support from the government, as there is no intervention by the government to assist operators, which they are being challenged by the menace of pirates unabatedly.
She called on government to establish an effective agency that would fight piracy as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is fighting corruption, and that will save millions of Naira lost to activities of pirates and will also sanitise the industry.
She also asked what is the government doing with the Entertainment tax of 10 per cent and state tax of five per cent film producers pay, which they are not seeing what the money is being utilized on, as the industry remains unsecured.
She said: “I spent my Christmas with the children at the orphanage, and also my birthday celebration is done with them including my son’s birthday ceremony is with them. I cherish and see them as my children too.
“I also believe in giving to the less privilege with what God has blessed me with, I mean the masses. This has been part of my upbringing and I have cultivated the habit of helping the masses because they need help and love.”
“I am a mother and I know the pain women pass through. After 22 hours of labour then delivery, somebody will now go and dump the baby on the street. I begin to imagine whether is the same labour process I went through these women who dump their newborns go through?
“Even though they had the pregnancy without their parents knowing, I appeal to them not to go on with dumping the innocent babies, rather go home and plead with your mum to take care of the child, which you can go engage yourself with a little job to support the baby.”
She also advised parents to instill good morals and discipline in their children in order to checkmate what they are doing instead to condone and encourage them to continue with their indecent lifestyle.
“Young girls should look at themselves and the way they are living their lives and for suffering the innocent child, I want them to be hardworking, and avoid giving birth to children and abandon them on streets”, she said.
On the movie industry she said more sponsors and investors are needed to move the industry forward because it is the highest employer of labour at the moment as hundreds of people are directly and indirectly employed in every movie produced.
“Government and corporate organizations are not supporting, except some banks that are doing that. The movie industry is the highest recruiting sector of the economy, like my company, Ebanky Global Production, established in 2012, which I have 12 permanent employees on our payroll, like the script, which some take 20 people or cast, some 50, 100, and we have like over 100 productions going on in Nigeria. So it is a massive employment creation going on the sector.