John Okafor Mr Ibu: I’m Afraid Of Buhari, Nollywood Has No Future Under Him
Tuesday May 19, 2015 – “I’m Afraid Of Buhari” – Nollywood Actor Mr Ibu, John Okafor Confesses
See excerpt from Mr Ibu’s recent interview with The Entertainer
Today, you are prominent and well celebrated in Nollywood. In your own opinion, what do you think needs to be done to take Nollywood to the next level that we keep hearing from people? And what is the next level for Nollywood?
Before the level will come, there is need for little analysis on the foundation laid before by the Actors Guild of Nigeria. I see the foundation laid in the AGN being cracked because of greed and carelessness. I must tell you that good administration eluded actors as long as I can remember and as I speak, we are still searching for the that angel that will take us to the next level. It is only this outgoing President of Nigeria that I can think of as someone who has so much interest in developing Nollywood. I have never seen someone like that before who supports us that much. But I am seriously afraid of what next.
Why are you afraid? Do you mean the incoming president may not favour entertainment like Goodluck Jonathan?
We don’t know what could happen but I’m scared. I’m scared and watching, the former people that met with President Jonathan probably got his attention and we expected that they would work towards building a film village for Actors Guild of Nigeria that would serve as rendezvous for card-carrying members. A place whereby tourists can take a recreational tour, take photographs with actors and actresses just like Hollywood. But as it stands, that’s a mirage.
Which state do you want this village to be built?
Anywhere in the country will do. Any state can build and situate our head office there. But our problem today is that there has been this office called Nigerian Film Corporation before now. To the best of my knowledge, if they exist at all, they have not done anything. This is a place if functional, we are supposed to go and hire our sophisticated machines, shoot our movies to celluloid and to class. These are people that are supposed to have a big village that has to do with film. We will go there to do our location and everything that has to do with filming and editing. First class editing suite should be found there. But as I speak to you, I have never been or see any workshop organised by the Nigerian Film Corporation. I have never seen a circular sent from the office of their chairman or what have you to actors. From them, we have Censors Board. Censors Board is our family. Anybody who is not a core person in filming and acting industry cannot be chairman of Census Board because they do not know the etiquette of the industry, neither do they know what we are passing through. If the Nollywood could produce an approximate of 120 films per month and we pay N50, 000 to censor one movie, it means an approximate of N6 million is made from us every month yet we are not seeing any development of the industry by government. That’s sad. We are feeding government in this area. We should be remembered by government. Even the little government is doing is not circulating because of greed and selfishness of the people in charge, nobody represent anybody.
How do you see politics in Nigeria today? What is your opinion about the political arena in the country today compare to before?
I am not too good in the field of politics anymore. I was there before. I was breathing in and out. I could recollect that when I was in Anambra State, I contested in one of the councillorship elections. I won my primaries, but unfortunately, in the night before the proper election, military toppled government. N.R.C and S.D.P were actually the two political parties we had then. Politics of today apart from the killings, is improving. It is like playing draft, if you win, no matter what you do to win, you will be the winner.