Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Today was my last day at a job I have hated for over two years. I finally found the courage to up and leave. I feel great relief, it is something I should have done since. Now I can face my passions, pursue my dreams and God willing have my name written in history books.

My brother has been a major rock that I have leaned on on this literary sojourn, always asking me when last I wrote something, and telling me which competitions to enter for. Sometimes he tears my works to pieces asking if I was half asleep as I wrote it, in all he has brought me here. And I say a big thank you. To my family and friends who have promised to watch my back, this is saying God bless you. And to the man of the moment and a life time, my hubby who calls me Oriaku,they say it means "chopper of my wealth", may all good things be yours.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

On project Nollywood

I wanted so badly for the films to be nice. The Ecobank project films-project Nollywood. Particularly Caught in the middle.
My friend kept saying to me, Is it not Charles Novia, his films are all crap. I said this is different; he had time, he had money, he wasn’t forced to make the movie into two parts. And so I bought the film, filled with so much hope, to say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. My friend had a good laugh. He lifted the story from "How to lose a man in ten days", stole some things from "you’ve got mail." I don’t even have a problem with his copying but come on copy with dignity. What is going on with this Nollywood, why are we going backwards? Ten years ago, films were much better, I remember Living in bondage, The world is mine, Breaking point, Rattle snake and so many others. Now apart from a few producers, everyone else is doing crap. My question to Charles Novia is did he have to write the script himself. You were directing, producing, isn’t that enough credit? Must you take more? With all that money and time, why didn’t you call for scripts, there are wonderful writers in Nigeria, who have no platform to show their works, you could have given someone a chance. And your film would have made more sense. An average Idumota film is better than that crap you did, and most Idumota people have only SSCE.

Nollywood is taking advantage of its viewers. The people who watch movies would buy just about anything and they may actually enjoy it. But I buy too. And I want value for my money. I knew 100 days in a jungle would not be nice but I tried it all the same, of course it was worse. I couldn’t watch past the first 20 minutes.I remember Chico Ejiro from full moon, Juliet must die etc. Ten years after, his movies are still the same.or worse.

When I watched jetta’s Amazing grace, I was upset too. Same script problem, what’s wrong with all of them? I am a writer and I know when I have written something bad. I attended a workshop recently and I have learnt that it is not so much about talent but hard work, You can’t stop at the first draft, you have got to do 3, 4, or 5. You should have had a script conference, rubbed so many minds together,and I don’t mean putting a lot of empty minds together. I don’t even know what Jetta was trying to say in that film. The oyibo’s have their version of amazing Grace, released a few months after ours was. The difference was clear, not a fantastic film but the message was clear, they made themselves the villains and turned themselves into heroes. Yes they started slave trade, but they also abolished it. What exactly was Jetta saying? But Jetta should win a gold medal compared to what this project Nollywood people have done. There is no difference between them and road contractors who use cheap materials to repair roads knowing the first sign of rain would return the roads to the previous conditions. This is what Charles and his team have done, They got a contract and used cheap materials. You owe the public a responsibility to make good films. Clean up your acts!

Everyone blames the Nollywood problem on Idumota, now we know it’s not. It is this our oversabi attitude that is killing us. You can’t write, you can’t write. Period. Buy a script or have someone screenplay your story. And get someone who has brains to do your casting. The story doesn’t matter so much, the treatment does. The 500 naira I spent buying Caught in the middle and 100 days in the jungle could have fed an entire family.
I watched an interview with Charles Novia yesterday and he said he spent two years making this film, he called it his very best. When they asked him how rich he is, he was listing several cars, cars are not riches you know, knowledge is. Take a course in directing, improve yourself. Don’t crash the market before it has even fully kicked off because that’s what you guys are doing. Did you watch sitanda? Another stolen story, this time from another home video but I forgive them because the directing was beautiful, the shots were amazing, I can’t remember saying nice shot to any situation in Caught in the middle. I know the person writing the next Ambo story, I know they have made him do seven drafts so far. That’s more like it. I expect their next film to be so much better than the previous. The oyibo’s are not better than us, they just work harder, we have good stories but such terrible treatment. Let’s stop being so selfish, share your credits, share your money, that’s the only way we can improve. I would restrict my money to films made by Amaka Igwe, Emem Isong, Ego Boyo and only so I won’t be accused of gender discrimination, I will add Kingsley ogoro to my list.

I am for anything Nigerian. I want to beat my chest anywhere and stand proud of Nollywood. Please make it easy for me. And dear Amaka Igwe do us a favour and yank that fuji house stuff off the TV, I know you are still getting loads of adverts but money isn’t everything, your name is at stake. The program has since outlived its lifespan.