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WOMEN ARE HARASSING ME SEXUALLY IN NOLLYWOOD---EMEKA DURU

Source: nigeriafilms.com

SEX FOR ROLES IN NOLLYWOOD: I receive unprintable text messages from female artistes- Emeka Duru

A first contact with him on any movie location will strongly suggest to any discerning person that Emeka Duru, a seasoned production manager is a restless man who wants to get his job done as soon as possible. The man who hails from Njiaba Local Government area of Imo State granted an exclusive interview to nollywoodgists.com on a movie location at the Victoria Garden City, Lagos. He spoke on issues that border on his start-up, movie production management, lack of funds in Nollywood, sexual harassment in Nollywood and other sundry issues.

Excerpt:

Can you tell us how you got into the movie industry?

I vividly remember that Natty Bruce in 1994 invited me to a movie location where I played the role of a private investigator. After a while I came down to Lagos where I was introduced to Actor's Guild of Nigeria (AGN) in Zeb Ejiro's office. I soon discovered that a large number of people wanted to become movie artistes. I was not encouraged with this. By 1997, I decided to join my cousin, Ebere Onwu who was producing an Ibo movie. I managed the production and he was impressed. That same year I produced a movie entitled 'Bleeding Heart'. Eventually, I concentrated on movie production and management.

Tell us a bit about your educational background?

I had my post secondary education in a seminary.

Are you not supposed to be a priest?

Yes, I am supposed to be a priest. But I am the only son of my parents and my mother died less than a year before my graduation from the seminary. With this I decided to quit the seminary. Though I have tried to get some bit of education from the conventional higher institutions but my job and schedule would not allow me.

How do you rate the production aspect of the Nigerian movie industry?

We are trying but we are not yet there. The truth is that we don't have it takes to produce quality movies in Nigeria. Basically, there are no funds; hence producers use the meagre resources available at their disposal to produce wonderful movies. If there are investors like we have in other sectors of the economy I think Nollywood would be a headache for Hollywood

What is your view on Nollywood?

Though it said that Nollywood is third largest movie industry in the world. Personally, I think Nollywood is the second largest movie industry in the world. Nollywood comes directly after Hollywood and not Bollywood. I say this because in Hollywood a good movie will gulp close to Two Hundred Million Dollars where as in Nigeria to produce a good movie may not cost more than five million naira. For instance, if a Nigerian movie producer is given what the Hollywood star gets he would produce a blockbuster that will comfortably compete with a movie produced in Hollywood. I am of the opinion that with the availability of resources Nollywood will be a force to reckon with in the world.

How important is movie production management?

Movie production management is the lifeline of movie production. In essence the movie producer employs the movie director, production manager and other persons. The production manager manages all the employed personnel. If the production manager is not capable the movie production might take longer than expected. For instance a production manager might decide that a seven-day production should be done in twenty days. But a good production manager must be conscious that the producer spends more money as the artistes and production crew are camped on the movie location.

What are the titles of some movies you have produced and those you have managed their production?

I produced the 'Bleeding Heart 1&2' in 1997. I co-produced 'Gangster Paradise'. My lastest effort is 'Salt n Pepper' which was released a few days ago. I featured two young men with the characters similar those of Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki and Pawpaw).
Without being immodest I have managed the best production in the industry. I managed 'End Time 1&2', 'Fugitive', 'Time to Kill'. Behind Closed Doors', 'Games Women Play', 'Games Men Play', 'Inheritance' (a soap opera) and 'Heavens Gate' also a soap which is currently showing on television. Interestingly, I have worked with the best producers and the best directors in Nollywood.

Are you married?

No

Can you tell us why are you not married?

I am a disorganised person. I need a woman that would organise me.

Why don't you find one among the Nollywood artistes?

I have not searched. But I would not want my wife to be an actress.

What is your comment on the issue of sex for roles and sexual harassment in Nollywood?

Are you talking of men harassing women or vice versa? The truth is that women are harassing men in Nollywood. For instance, a married woman came to me and said, “I am better than these young girls in bed if it is about love making.” We cannot deny sexual harassment in Nollywood. I receive text messages from female artistes which are not printable on my phone.

Who are they?
I cannot mention names. But personally, I would not premise my going-out with any lady on the basis of giving her roles in a movie. Even if I have anything to do with any female artiste she must prove herself to be good enough during auditioning. I

How do you relax?

I don't have time to rest. I no get time!

What is your advice for up-coming movie production managers?

They should be cool headed and ready to learn. They should closely understudy those who have made a mark in the business.

Words for your fans?

The best is yet to come. They should have faith in Nollywood because the industry will surprise Hollywood.

By TAIWO OBATUSIN