Government should stop giving actors money – John Okafor

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Popular actor, John Okafor, in a recent chat with Punch, criticised the recent visit of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria to President Jonathan.

Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu, said he had beef with those who went to visit the president  because the president is yet to set his priorities right with regard to Nollywood.
“The government should stop giving Actors’ Guild cash, because we don’t know how to handle it. Some people will go to the office, process the money and squander it and we (actors) never benefit from such goodwill.
“If they (government) can give us a structure or land, we (actors) can go ahead and secure funds from investors to build five-star hotels and other facilities on it, because it will be a tourist haven. We can bring the Nigerian Censor’s board into the same arena.” Okafor tells Punch. Continue…
“How can we be paying N50,000 to have one movie censored and then generate N5m from over 100 movies produced in a month and yet there aren’t any structures in place for Nollywood? “With such amount of money, government should be able to cater for us. If this is done, the industry will make a giant stride.”
Okafor also talked about homosexuality in the Nollywood industry…
“Homosexuality is very rampant in our industry and it is one thing that aggravates my anger many at times,” he reveals.
He talks about fans not taking him seriously because of the ‘unserious roles’ he plays in the movies.
“Many people do not take me seriously because of the kind of roles I play in movies. But the truth is that those who know me very well know that I am a very focused and principled person.
“In fact, I teach and mentor many upcoming actors and also organise workshops and seminars regularly for them.”
He recalls when he knew he would be an actor.
“I think I got the gift of acting from my grandfather. I discovered this in the early 70s. My grandfather was a foremost comedian in his own right. Back in the days, he would take me to places where he performed. Growing up, I realised that I was going to become an actor somehow,” he recalled.
Okafor says acting has not made him rich
“Acting has not made me rich, but I’m very comfortable. I am able to feed and adequately take care of my family; neither do I borrow money.
“It has also opened many doors for me and it has taken me far and wide beyond my wildest imagination. It has exposed me to certain level where I can say that God has done it for me.”

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