SEX-FOR-ROLE IN NOLLYWOOD, NO BIG DEAL !
I can date any guy I like ! ! !
Take it or leave it, there's so much happening in the Nigerian movie industry (aka Nollywood). Controversy today, hullabaloo the next.
Whatever the qualm though, it hasn't yet taken away the fact that the practioners are having a ball- by hook or by crook.
If the actress is not accusing the male producer of angling to sleep with her in exchange for a movie role, he is firing back that those are empty barrels that make the loudest noise. Yet, the messy allegations have refused to die down over the years.
The accusations and counter-accusations, however, underscore one thing: There is no smoke without fire.
In the face of all these, who among the Nollywood gals would be candid enough to call a spade a spade?
Actress and movie director, Oby Kechere alias Ms Koi-Koi braved it last week in Lagos when she spoke with Sunday Sun. For her, the issue of sexual harassment in Nollywood is no big deal.
“I keep telling people that the issue of sexual harassment or somebody wanting to sleep with you before you can get a movie role is not an issue at all.”
Amazed? She thinks so not because it is non-existent in Nollywood. It is not peculiar to Nollywood either.
The Mbaise, Imo State-born actress believes she's mature enough to chose who to go to bed with, regardless of any coincidence in profession. According to her, it is only proper for members of the opposite sex to be attracted to each other regardless of where they find themselves. Thus, she sees nothing wrong in dating a guy she admires, notwithstanding that they share the same profession.
“These things do not happen only in the movie industry, it happens everywhere,” she argues.
And by way of asking, Ms Koi-Koi wants to know: “What's wrong with that?”
She rationalizes: “Anywhere you have men and women working together, there would always be the tendency for the men to ask the women out. And there is also the tendency for the women to admire the men, which is a normal thing.”
Koi-Koi continues: “That sexual harassment exists in the Nigerian movie industry is not even an issue to discuss at all. If you are a woman and no man admires you, then you are in trouble. Meaning that something must definitely be wrong with you. And if you are a man, and all through your life, no woman has admired you, you must seek help fast.”
Speaking further, the women affair actress said, though she is not supporting immorality in anyway, the issue of sexual harassment has nothing to do with the movie in industry in particular. As long as you are a lady or a girl, married or not, men will go after you. Even in the north, where women cover almost every part of their body, people still go after them. Forget the issue of being a producer or director, a man will always be a man. And if he's asking you out, it is left to you to say 'yes' or 'no.'
“Most people who talk about being harassed by movie directors and producers are those that have nothing to offer. Some girls harass the men through their indecent dressing, yet they do not know. I mean you cannot leave your house dressed half-naked, with your boobs outside and you expect men to look the other way, it is impossible. They will look and even want to feel what they are seeing. It is not only in the movie industry that these things happen, it happens everywhere. It happens in the banks. It happens in the schools. It happens everywhere, why make it an issue in the movie industry?”
My father is my first husband, no. Jesus is my first husband. My father is closer to my heart, he is my darling and he is enjoying what I am doing. In fact, all my family members are the ones enjoying what I am doing even more than I am. Can you imagine that my mother no longer calls me by the name she gave me. She now calls me Ms Koi Koi. Anytime she calls me on phone, you will hear: 'Ms Koi Koi, how far?' All my siblings are enjoying my job. They are all wonderful people giving me every support. That is all you need to know about my love life for now.
Nollywood and I
It's been up and down, good and bad. Sometimes enjoyable, sometimes difficult, sometimes painful, but so far so good. Some of the ups may be because one is a woman who decided to go into directing believed to be a terrain exclusively reserved for the male folks. So, to really measure up, you have to go the extra mile to prove yourself. So far, I have acted in about twenty movies since I joined the industry in 2002 courtesy of my younger sister. My intention was to do an office job when I was leaving school but my siblings thought otherwise. I am having the fun of my life in the industry. I have also directed one movie and there are many in the pipeline. The industry has been good to me at least I can take care of my bills and sometimes look back home. So I am going to stay here for a long time to come. In the movie industry, you do not have a retirement date so I am going to remain in the industry as long as I live. The more you grow, the more your age determines the role you play. Until I am not able to walk again, maybe that will be when to start thinking of retirement. For now, I have not even started.