Listen to article

Veteran actor and playwright, Pa Adebayo Faleti, in this interview, explains that ANTP is intact, even as a large number of young members have just staged a walk out

Q: Elder Faleti, you were one of the old actors who graced the just concluded ANTP general meeting. How would you describe its outcome?
A: It was very successful. The national general meeting of the association has always been very successful. You can see that we had a good turn out and it was quite interesting. Even if some aggrieved members walked out of the meeting, you will notice that those that walked out were very infinitesimal among the people that were there. Despite that, I can boast that the meeting was very successful and all our deliberations were free and fair.

Q: Can we call the aggrieved members, who are now clamouring for a parallel body to ANTP, a faction?
A: They are not a faction, that is a mistake. They are a splinter group who said they are protesting against the association's ruling that a producer should produce only one film in a year. So, nobody has ever regarded them as producers or anything since we are yet to know the outcome of our screening exercise. So, nobody has regard for them and you can see that others had also rejected them before and after they walked out of the meeting. They are a group of dissidents, you cannot avoid such a group in any organisation. So, they are not a faction and they don't bother us a hoot.

Q: But we have some popular practitioners among them?
A: Mention any popular producer among them.

Q: The likes of Lasun Ray Eyiwumi, Kunle Afodunrin, etc.?
A: Are those popular producers or practitioners? Who is aware of their presence in the industry?

Q: But they are quite popular, sir?
A: Maybe to you, because to us, they are not popular at all. One of them said he has been in the industry since 1991 and you term that as being popular? What do you say about me that has been in the industry since 1949? Don't encourage such impression at all. The bottom line is that those people that walked out of the meeting are nothing to us. No important person will take such an action that they took. So, I don't regard them as being indispensable. Nobody is indispensable in the society.

Q: But as an elder, sir, how do you think they should have made their grievances known?
A: That is what I have said before. If anybody is aggrieved in the society, it is expected that he writes the leaders or goes to them to make his or her grievances known. It is not about sending text messages to threaten the people at the helm of affairs.

Q: Sir, the youth who have just broke away from the ANTP alleged among other things that...
A: Point of correction, nobody has broken away from ANTP. What do you mean by break away? Don't mention that wherever I am, please.

Q: The youths alleged, among other things, that some of the executive members of ANTP have been shooting campaign promos for politicians and others?
A: Did you also hear somebody among them say he recorded musical videos? Nobody said they should not record musical videos, but it is just that they don't understand English language. Nobody said they should not do promos or musical videos.

Q: They also alleged that the association lacks transparency and accountability. What is your view on that?
A: They can't just make an allegation that cannot be substantiated. If they want to accuse people on accountability, they should have brought figures. Please, I don't want to speak further on that.

Q: What was your experience during the just concluded ANTP holiday and do you think it has achieved its aim?
A: Of course, a leave is meant to rejuvenate an individual. Anyone who does not go on leave has only refused to be rejuvenated. For me, the leave has made me brighter.

Q: But as an elder, one would have expected you to settle the controversy?
A: Is there a case? There's no case, so I don't have to settle anything. Nobody has made any case, so there's nothing to settle. It is not after they have adopted a violent measure about the controversy, by sending text messages to people.

Q: Do you mean you won't propose any resolution to the controversy?
A: That depends on them, if they want any resolution now, let them come back and speak to us responsibly.

Q: Do you feel bad that some young practitioners have come to destabilise the industry you have laboured so long to nurture?
A: No, I don't. If they like, let them destabilise it, but I know some day, posterity will judge.

By Bayo Adetu & Olatunji Saliu