Seasoned actor, Emeka Okoye has faulted actress, Aisha Lawal’s recent assertion that the Yoruba ethnic group ‘owns’ the Nigerian movie industry.
Lawal had stated in an interview that if people conduct research, they will find out that Yorubas started Nollywood.
“We own the industry. Go back to research. The industry belongs to the Yoruba people. If you go back to research, you will hear from people like Hubert Ogunde and Ade Love.
“I don’t want to go into details. But, if you go and research very well, you will discover that Yorubas own this industry, we started this industry. We messed up at some point, but we are not playing catch-up. We are there already. Now, everybody wants to shoot a Yoruba movie,” she said.
But reacting to the comment, Okoye said the actress should not be blamed because was speaking based on the limited information at her disposal.
He said; “One should not blame her, because that is the information she had. But, as far as I’m concerned, understanding nobody owns Nollywood. As a child, I watched movies such as ‘Living in Bondage 1&2’, ‘Evil Passion’, ‘Deadly Affairs’, and ‘Taboo’. I recall that I was obsessed with Nollywood films back then, and never heard that a particular tribe owns the movie industry. When I read her (Aisha) statement, I assumed she just wanted to have something to say.
“At the time Igbos were making films, Yoruba people were also doing that. It was the advent of VCD and the film, ‘Living in Bondage’, (produced by Okechukwu Ogunjiofor), that helped to sell Nigerian entertainment to foreign markets.”