'...Ali Baba, you don’t know our business more than us. We need funding. Once we get funded, we will create distribution channels...'
Nigeria’s comedy king, Ali Baba has taken a swipe at Nollywood filmmakers while lending his voice to piracy scourge currently destroying the movie industry.
In his take, he worte, "When I raised this issue, at critical meetings, I was asked, ARE YOU AN ACTOR?… The results are out… There is a popular African saying about throwing stones in the market place… Let me repeat (paraphrase more like) what some stakeholders told me.
‘Ali Baba, you don’t know our business more than us. We need funding. Once we get funded, we will create distribution channels. We will engage in capacity building. We will build more film villages. We will improve the quality of our movies. We will encrypt our DVDs. We can beat the Pirates at their game.’
I am sure Amaka Igwe will be laughing right now like I am laughing.
My brother I like your resolve. Sadly, the people you are fighting for, still don’t get it. Na who wear the shoes know where e dey pinch am.
Interestingly, some of the actors who get paid for their roles, only see up to that point: it’s a paid for job, onto the next. The producers and executive producers are the ones who dole out money to pay for the movies that get pirated. Na them this thing go pain.
In case you don’t know, some people are in the movie industry for the popularity. They did not join the industry, if I may call it that, to make money or secure their future. So, when you are talking about stopping them before they stop us, you may actually be stepping on toes of some actors. Because for them, the more people who see the movies, the better for them. They want to be seen anyway.
These same people would act for free. Because all they want is to be seen. They want to be recognized as stars. Get popular enough to be considered for brand endorsements. Pull enough weight to be paid appearance fee upon sighting at events. Amass enough followers to be considered as an A-Lister. It is just enough for them to be craved by sex crazy men and women who drool over screen idols. They want their faces plastered in magazines and as recurrent decimals in gossip columns of junk journalism. That’s all.
In the light of the above paragraph, what ‘CONSIGNS’ them with piracy, arrest, prosecution, compensation, or even strategies to reduce the effects of the trade? When it brings them the desired fame? Naaaa. You did not hear that one Nollywood actor asked AY what was he still fighting pirates for… The one you make for Cinema never do you? Better put, there are people in this industry that you are sticking your neck out for, who will put their STOMACH 1ST, before they think of OCTOBER 1ST.
So, much as I applaud your resolve, I know the people you are fighting for will not appreciate it. They can’t. It’s a mindset thing. In fact, after that Showbiz encounter with the president, one person called me to say, it was my useless question that made GEJ not drop money like he should have dropped. So my assumption, not confirmed, is that he dropped but not like he should have dropped....
Egbon mi, Yemi Shodimu do you think these people I described feel the pains of Tunde Kelani, or the struggles of Mahmood Ali-Balogun, the bitterness of Tade Ogidan, frustration of Baba SALA or the sorrows of Kunle Afolayan? Naaaa… They just want to be in your movie and Bloooooooooooow. Whether you make your money back is your Wahala. Just give them a script for the next movie.
What do I know SEF? SHEBI I am just a comedian..