Emeka Okoro says Nollywood of old is more profitable for actors than what is obtainable now.
The Nollywood star spoke on BBC Igbo, where he discussed film industry trends and how the profession has changed in Nigeria.
Okoro hailed industry players for the technical and artistic improvements the movie scene witnessed over the years. He, however, noted that an upward review of the pay to actors is something that needs to be seriously considered.
“I wouldn’t say Nollywood has worsened. Even a child born today grows to walk from crawling. Before now, the industry was largely controlled by businessmen in Idumota, Alaba, and Iweka,” the actor spoke in Igbo.
“We had productions back then and the pay was higher than we have it now. I wouldn’t lie to you. But now, we have more professionals than before. A lot of technical and artistic improvements have been made.
“The Nollywood we have today is better but not financially. It is only profitable if you have projects to work on frequently. Now, we have divisions in Nollywood and you only get to act once in a while. We’ve also gone online.
“What we achieved is impressive but one piece of advice I would chip in is that we consider an upward review of the monies paid to actors. We also need more channels through which movies come so more actors can also break-in.”
When quizzed on the decentralised nature of Nigeria’s movie industry, Okoro described it as both good and bad.
“Nollywood is nowhere near centralised. Whether you have permits or not, no one cares to know. Associations are not strong as they should be. The truth is that it’ll be advantageous if we’re united,” he said.
“But still, we all want to make ends meet without any hindrance or requirements that mandate you to belong to any guild before you can act or make movies. That decentralisation can be both a good thing and a bad attribute.
“From a professional viewpoint, it’s terrible. But when you consider it from a liberal standpoint, then it’s good.”
Okoro joined Nollywood in 1995. He is known for his hitman roles alongside Hank Anuku, Jim Iyke, and Saint Obi.
He acted in films like ‘Take Me to Mama’ and ‘Ojuelegba’ after gaining fame in the blockbuster movie ‘The Senator’.
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