KANOYO O.KANAYO (KOK) VERSUS MARKETERS
Recently, they were rumours that the year 2006 African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) Best Actor, Kanoyo O. Kanayo (KOK) might face some sanctions and a possible ban from movie marketers in Nigeria. Reasons for their purported actions are not unconnected with the press briefing KOK organised last February when he suggested how the movie industry could be run properly especially on issues of marketing, production, distribution and censorship.
According to our source the sins of KOK include; his regular secret meetings with the Emeka Mba, Director General of Censor Board; His efforts at painting marketers as bunch of illiterates responsible for the slow development of the movie industry; Aligning with the censors board to perfect ways of rubbishing the marketers; Co-axing fellow artistes like Segun Arinze to join the censors board initiative; His arrogance and disrespect for marketers.
Ironically all major marketers that were spoken to insisted they were not aware of such an issue or denied plans to take any decisive action against KOK. Reacting to the allegation, a leading marketer, Emma Isikaku said, “KOK actually expressed his mind about how he feels the movie industry should be run. I can tell you authoritatively that no meeting has been held or planned for the ban of KOK. We have nothing against him moreover right now we are experiencing job draught so lot of people are not shooting new movies that is why his services has not been engaged in recent times. All those allegations are baseless except some people are trying to make a political point out of the whole issue, I think that is needless”.
The man who owns Contech marketing outfit said, “We have outgrown this level of being petty. Whatever KOK did is not in his personal interest. The issue of ban nr sanctions against KOK has never been discussed among marketers. Basically, nobody can victimise anybody for his opinion over issues that border on national interest. As a leader among movie marketers in Nigeria I can tell you we don't have any grouse against KOK”.
Speaking to www.nollywoodgists.com on the issue KOK explained, “Sometimes ago God gave me a vision about the movie industry and I asked a question; Is the grass of Nollywood still green?
I asked my colleagues like Late Ebereonwu, Lancelot Imasuen and about three other people. They gave me their opinion. But ninety percent of their opinion was that the grass of Nollywood is not green. Since the grass is not green what you do is to give it manure. The manure was my proposition and consolidation of the industry. The whole idea was that for Nollywood to stand the test of time there must be a formidable structure that can be supervised by censors board which is the regulatory board. The press briefing I granted on 7th February 2007 informed the decision of the parastatal. I am not laying claim as being solely responsible for the censors board reforms. I am not fighting war with anybody. The war I am is that Nollywood should not be seen as an industry of mediocre. I specifically stated during the conference that for an organisation to be registered as a movie production company it have a capital base one hundred million naira. In this way everyone in the industry is expected to work less and get more. Just like what we had with the banks and some people even called for CBN governor's head but our banking industry is better for it now. The issue is that people must begin to look at the message and not the messenger.
What is the essence of four brothers who have different movie production companies? What is their capital base? Why don't they put resources together instead of making ten movies in a year they should make four movies that will sell for the next twenty years. Why are we playing small in an international market? Why can we not extricate ourselves from saying films are not selling?”
During the press briefing KOK proposed that for any organisation to be registered as a distribution company such a company must have between three hundred and four hundred million naira with presence in at least thirty states. He is of the opinion by so doing piracy can be curbed and the movie market can be monitored effectively.
He believes that mergers and consolidation in the movie industry will cause a lot people to lose their exalted position. “The situation is such that when there are mergers and consolidation definitely a lot of people will loose their position. If you were managing director in a company you may become a manager or regional director.”
Nollywood must be able to commission great writers like Elechi Amadi, Chinua Achebe and others to write movie stories or adapt their works to movies. But nowadays story lines in movies are repeated and lack professional touches.
If we follow what the censors board wants Nollywood can be the pride of Africa.
Why should someone write a story for millions of viewers in his shop without leaving the story to be written by a professional? Why should someone like me keep quiet because someone may not give me scripts? I have grown beyond that. I am an enigma and a brand name in Nigeria. The outspoken actor concluded his brief chat with www.nollywoodgists.com by saying, “If anybody says he will not give KOK scripts, that is good. But is there any official stand that KOK is suspended?” Based on the foregoing one might be forced to ask, Who is asking for KOK's head? Or are marketers not confident enough to antagonise KOK based on his close relationship to Emeka Mba, the Director General of the Censors Board? Or is the dissatisfaction from a minority who the reforms in the industry will not favour? Time however will tell if truly the marketers still maintain a cordial relationship in spite of his call for reforms in the movie industry.