Best Of Nollywood (BON)’s Head of Jury, Niran Adedokun, has reacted to the viral reports that Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, ‘insulted’ Nollywood practitioners and described them as ‘products of circumstances because they had failed in other fields.’
According to Adedokun, Amaechi was only trying to explain the current situation of the country viz massive job unemployment.
“Amaechi never said that. What he said was that a lot of people are into acting because of the situation of things in the country. He said many of them probably studied other courses and didn’t get jobs in those fields. He wasn’t talking about the movie industry alone; he actually mentioned the case of people who read Engineering but work in banks…that was exactly what he was talking about; that because there are no jobs in the country, a lot of people are working in fields they didn’t study for.” he said
Also, the organizers have sent in a statement which reads thus:
At no point did Governor Amaechi insult Nollywood practitioners. Instead, he commended them for growing the industry into a multi billion naira industry without any form of institutional or government support.
Nollywood, he says, now employs hundreds of thousands of Nigerian youths who, despite their qualifications, may have remained jobless because of the unemployment challenge in Nigeria which has led to a situation whereby graduates of medicine, law and other such disciplines end up in Nollywood.
At that point, popular entertainer, Okey Bakassi, interrupted the governor, saying he is an agricultural engineering graduate of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, which threw the whole hall into laughter.
The Governor then recalled that at the 40th birthday party of Kate Henshaw a while back, Basorge Tariah Jnr reminded her how they used to slap the streets in search of jobs and that it was Nollywood that rescued them.
Governor Amaechi also cited the example of the banking industry which has become a dumping ground of sort for graduates of different disciplines that are not even remotely related to the banking profession.
It does not beggar rational understanding, except that the blogger may not be so conditioned, therefore, that this allusion is a thumbs up for the pioneers of Nollywood, not an insult as she inanely interpreted it.
More so, at no point did the Governor say he gives Kate Henshaw money. He did, however, say that the state has contracted Mrs Joke Jacobs to turn Chinua Achebe’s political satire, A Man of the People, into a movie because of its inherent, timeless social message.
After his speech, an excited Patience Ozokwor re-invited the Governor to the stage to co-present the Movie of The Year award.
We wonder if the practitioners did indeed feel insulted, the Governor would still receive a standing ovation for stating that after his term in office expires, he would devote the next couple of years to reading and research and that one of the research topics he has chosen is the dynamism and evolution of Nollywood.
The video of his full speech would be on social media platforms in a few hours.
It is noteworthy to mention that despite starting behind schedule, Governor Amaechi sat through the awards which lasted over three hours.
We therefore want discerning Nigerians to discountenance this ill-intentioned report as it is not only the product of warped reasoning and deliberate misinterpretation, it is most uncharitable to Governor Amaechi and demeaning to the Nollywood stars and stakeholders that were at the event.