By Benjamin Njoku
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has called on the stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry to endeavour to build on the legacies of those who laid the foundation of the industry.
The Ife monarch made the call while accepting his appointment as the first ever grand patron of the prestigious ZUMA film festival which is organized by the Nigerian Film Corporation, NFC annually.
This was contained in a statement issued by Mr. Brian Etuk, NFC’s Director of Public Affairs, in Jos, Plateau State.
In his acceptance letter, the Ife monarch expressed willingness to explore the most practical alliances with the Nigerian Film Corporation in resetting the nation’s film industry as the bedrock of our national identity, wealth creation and a viable export system.
According to the monarch, Nigeria must continue to unsettle the armchair and traditional mono economy reliance on crude oil which has adversely affected the nation’s journey towards the desired and prosperous destination, achievable through the effective utilization of endowed human assets.
The film industry, he further said, has the capacity and capabilities of regenerating the nation’s creative culture economy for accelerated development.
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His Majesty averred that Nigeria’s film industry, from several years back has demonstrated its pragmatic and most dominant influence in the preservation of cultural heritages and identity, and is undoubtedly shaping the nation’s economy through the creation of jobs.
In paying tribute to the robust 21st century creative culture economy of the nation, Ooni of Ife said that stakeholders should continue to build on the legacies of those who laid the foundation for Nigeria’s film industry. “We must be pragmatic and create the most long term strategic approach to establishing film culture as the symbol of our national assets and the emblem of patriotism”, he said.
He commended NFC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Dr. Chidia Maduekwe (Ishinka Ohafia) for his transformational leadership which has characterized the film agency’s unparalleled commitment towards the sustainable development of Nigeria’s film industry and driver of its modern creative culture, through the development of robust collaborative and partnership policies that encouraged Nollywood’s steady rise as the exporter of Nigeria’s rich stories beyond Africa. The official investiture of His Imperial Majesty as Royal Grand Patron of Zuma Film Festival will take place in Ife, ahead of the festival which is scheduled to hold from April 2 through 9, in Abuja.