Lack Of Unity Is Bane Of Nollywood—Ego Boyo
Q: What has been happening to Ego Boyo after Violated?
A: A lot, so much! I have been part of the development. I have produced stage plays, I have made a documentary and even adverts. I did the first advert of the Obasanjo campaign in 1998. In fact, that was my first job. When I left acting, the first thing I did was the Presidential Campaign advert.
Q: It was perceived that your husband stopped you from acting. Is it true?
A: I don't know where that came from. I don't know who came up with that rumour. When I got married, I was already acting, and that was in 1996. Violated was in 1996. So, I can't imagine where that story came from.
Q: Did you ever regret leaving the scene?
A: No, I don't regret at all! I think I left at the right time. I had always wanted to be a producer. If the opportunity had come earlier, I would have taken it, but it came just after we finished Checkmate. So, once the opportunity came, I took it and I haven't looked back since.
Q: The industry has gone through changes since you left, what do you think about the changes?
A: I think the changes are good. I hope they are lasting changes, because the problem has always been that we come up with quick solution. As quickly as they come up, they die. In fact, I'm hopeful that these ones would last longer and would make definite changes in the way we do things.
Q: What was acting like during your time, compared with what we have now?
A: At the time when I was acting, I believe people were doing better jobs, I can't put my finger on why, but I think at the time, it was still a more contained profession, so there were professionals who actually trained people who were very talented.
Now, I think it is a mix of any pretty girl, who at a point in her life does not know what to do. She decides to become an actress; the same thing goes for the men.
There has to be some talent involved in the process; it can't be just something for good-looking people who have no depth. And so, what I find out is that a lot of the people that we see now don't have depth.
Q: There is concern too over the quality of production, resulting from the rate at which movies are churned out. What is your take on this?
A: I agree that the quality of production has dropped, and that producers should take more time. It could help in improving the quality. But apart from that, apart from taking the time, you will also have to open your mind to the possibility of learning new things everyday.
All you have to do is go on the internet, which many Nigerians are now able to take advantage of. You will know there are constant changes, improvements in the technologies that exist. Even if you say that because of the economic situation, things are expensive, at least, open your mind to the possibility that those things exist and there are some courses that you can actually pay, do online and also books and software that you can buy. People can afford them and they can help improve your mind, just learn, just continue to learn. The internet is a minefield of information; there is so much information. You can get so much information. We have access to such and we are not utilizing it as much as we should.
Q: During your time, was acting that financially rewarding?
A: At the time, it was. It was right for that time. Now of course, it is growing out of control. It will have to be at par with the situation in the country now, but then it was alright. It wasn't the most fantastic pay, but okay.
Q: What do you think should be put in pace to move the industry forward?
A: There are so many things. I think that one of our biggest problems is lack of unity. I think it will be good if we combine creative talents and work as one, rather than each person making his/her own films that are below standard. I think if we are a united body, we will excel; if we combine our efforts to help one another make films in terms of providing training and education, it will help. I think that is just one of the major things that will take us forward.
Q: You had some good relationships while still acting, with the likes of Bob-Manuel Udokwu. What is the relationship like now?
A: Still very good. We don't talk as often as we used to, but we still talk. And I think another person I have had a long relationship with is Joke Silva, from the days of Violated until now. We talk via e-mail. For Bob-Manuel, I have not seen him for a while. But he came recently to one of the events held by my NGO. We are in touch. I'm in touch with his wife. I have not seen or spoken to Bob-Manuel for a while, but even then, the relationship is still as good as it was then.
Q: How many kids do you have?
A: I have three. Two boys and a girl