Nollywood... After The Ban

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The nation's movie industry otherwise called Nollywood breathed some air of relief last week with the announcement of the lifting of the protracted ban on some popular actors, by movie marketers.

Consequently, the likes of Richard Mofe Damijo, Genevieve Nnaji, Emeka Ike among others, are now free to ply their trade. When the news of the ban of some star actors broke over a year ago, it was regarded as a huge joke in some quarters of the industry. The gravity of the matter became known some months into the action. The marketers cum producers, the acclaimed overlords of Nollywood stood their grounds. Reality then dawned on all that the 'Igbo traders' as they are often referred to meant business. All entreaties to make the marketers shift ground, met with a brickwall. They were magnanimous enough to 'un-ban' some of the 'offending' actors couple of months into the action.

Thus, the long and tortuous journey from the small screen began for the likes of Genevieve Nnaji, Richard Mofe Damijo, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde among others. The

ban turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the trio of Damijo, Ekeinde and Nnaji. After a short wait for the movie overlords to rescind their decision, the trio dipped into their creative reserves. Nnaji and Ekeinde shocked all when they announced that they were going into music. The industry had not recovered from the shock of their separate decisions when they released their debuts.

Nothing much could be said about Nnaji's work which was launched in Ghana with so much fanfare especially in the creative side, but Ekeinde's effort left some people especially the marketers that banned her thinking. Star actress branched out into the comedy turf. He is the producer of now popular comedy show, Made in Warri... Live in Lagos and Abuja as the case may be. He also reportedly used the period of forced leave to pursue his degree in Law at the University of Lagos.

Genevieve, no doubt one of the nation's best actresses had mother luck on her side. She won the contract to be the face of Lux, a toilet soap. Until recently when the contract expired and she parted ways with the producers of the soap, many who missed her face on home videos saw more than enough of her in television commercials of the Lux.

It is not clear if the trio would be enthusiastic on coming back to take their pride of place in the sector, as there were several interviews during the ban that they were reported to have called it quit with Nollywood for good. A source however said recently that they were indeed the ones that called for the end of hostilities between them and the marketers "that is why they went to Enugu for the peace accord," the source revealed.

Critics of the sector wonder why the marketers are allowed to play their perceived despotic role instead of joining hands to create structures in the sector. "This is a sector that cannot boast of a good make up artist, no proper special effects man and stunt men, yet some group of people have formed a cabal to ban and unban actors."

However, the return of RMD, Genevieve, Omotola and others would be a refreshing change.