Popular actor, John Okafor, well known as Mr Ibu has decried the absence of adequate structures inNigeria movie industry. Also he criticised the recent visit of some actors to President Goodluck Jonathan, which did not appear to go down well with many Nollywood stakeholders who queried the motive behind the visit. It is said that the actors who visited Aso Rock only went to grab a piece of the national cake.
In his reaction, Mr Ibu said: “The government should stop giving Actors’ Guild cash, because we don’t know how to handle it. Some people will go to the office, process the money and squander it and we (actors) never benefit from such goodwill.The comic actor has also condemned the increase in gay activities in Nollywood. He said, homoséxuality is now very rampant in our industry and it is one thing that aggravates my anger most times...
On the issue of money to actors, he insisted, “If they (government) can give us a structure or land, we can go ahead and secure funds from investors to build five-star hotels and other facilities on it, because it will be a tourist haven. We can bring the Nigerian Censor’s board into the same arena.
“How can we be paying N50,000 to have one movie censored and then generate N5m from over 100 movies produced in a month and yet there aren’t any structures in place for Nollywood? With such amount of money, government should be able to cater for us. If this is done, the industry will make a giant stride.
“Many people do not take me seriously because of the kind of roles I play in movies. But the truth is that those who know me very well know that I am a very focused and principled person. In fact, I teach and mentor many upcoming actors and also organise workshops and seminars regularly for them.”
The year 1994 proved to be the turning point in his career after he landed his first movie role in the movie, Rolling Stone. Okafor was paid a paltry N5,000 to star in the film, but that was then. Today, he has emerged one of the most sought-after and highly paid Nollywood actors who charges ‘six digits’ to feature in a film.