SEASONS OF TRAGEDIES IN NOLLYWOOD
If there is anything that is fast gaining ground and sending shivers down the spine of stakeholders in the Nigerian movie industry at the moment, it is the series of deaths and near fatal accidents that have been unleashed, as if by an unseen hand on movie practitioners within the industry.
This bizarre development has sent tongues waging calling for a similar prayer session akin to that organized by Charles Taylor when he was at the helm of affairs in Liberia. I support these positive minded stakeholders to call for 'Nollywood Prays', a marathon prayer session to let this unholy cup pass us by in Nollywood.
I could say I have a foretaste of what is happening now as far back as the dawn of the new year. I am no Nostradamus, but in my church where I worship there is this tradition whereby each member is allowed to see any of the parish priests before the dawn of each new year to pray for peace, long life, and to express areas that are our prayer points for the coming year.
As usual I prayed for my country, my family, the world in general and in particular the movie industry expressing my concern that we witness no more deaths and tragedies, but rather more scripts and more booming sales for our distributors.
My parish priest response and prediction shocked me to the marrow. Particularly, having just recovered from the deaths of Fada Moses and Nnamdi Eze and near fatal auto crash of Stephanie Okereke, Ann Njemanze, Sam Onwuka, his outburst that I should warn my colleagues that more danger looms in the coming year and that we really need to pray and fast so as to avert this untowered future sent my heart palpitating.
I did pass on this message to a select few because I did not want to be tagged “a prophet of Doom”. Recent events however are beginning to give me sleepless nights. First it was Ramsey Nouah and the power bike issue that has led to the rearrangement of his upper front dentition. Next comes Saheed Balogun, he had an auto crash that nearly confined him, the Yinka Ayefele style, to a wheel chair. Emeka Rollas, former aspiring AGN president, joined the fray with a near fatal crash in Enugu during a movie shoot.
But the most painful is the most recent death of J.T Tom West via an auto crash along Lekki – Ajah expressway. It is most painful for he died four days after the incident due to complications arising from a major surgery done on him to correct the internal bleeding ensuing from the accident.
According to the PM (Production Manager) on set of the movie he was directing before the accident, J.T was given the best of care from the outset of the accident in a private hospital on the Island to the point where he was transferred to the General Hospital Lagos, where the surgery was carried out on him before he died.
He told Nollywoodgists.com that the issue of neglect as being peddled in some quarters is a blatant falsehood that should be discountenanced. Hear him; “We had to call off shoot immediately after the accident. I moved my people out of camp and I was shuttling between J.T's hospital bed and the temporary place I moved my cast and crew to, to await further instructions. Infact I posted a PA at J.T's bedside to monitor events”.
According to him J.T was very conscious to the very last minute. And even when it was suggested that members of his family should be contacted we rebuffed the suggestion sighting the reasons of not wanting to cause panic and unnecessary media frenzy over the issue.
Nollywoodgists.com says; “May his soul rest in perfect peace, as we call for a date to be fixed for Nollywood Prays.