NOLLYWOOD GAVE NIGERIA IDENTITY -KEPPY BASSEY
Popular actor, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, is one of the pioneer stars in Nollywood. The Akwa Ibom State-born actor is also a talk-show host and producer. He studied Linguistics and holds a second degree in international law and diplomacy from the University of Lagos. He has starred in a number of movies.
Recently, Bassey spoke to Daily Sun on his career, noting that Nollywood has indeed given Nigeria a unique identity.
Starring in the movie '90th Day'
The story is about betrayal of trust. The conflict is between two ends of the stick – the big end and the high end. Jack represents the good end while Colonel Ben represents the bad end. You know that is what basically happens to some of us when we think that we are not getting what we deserve, we begin to hold so much inside of us. Sometimes, when we unleash our inner values, we unleash in one direction.
Impact of Nollywood in society
The movie industry has been very great and impressive. I'm very glad and grateful to be part of it. One thing the movie industry has done and which we all must acknowledge is the fact that the movie industry has given Nigeria an identity. There was really no identity before the advent of Nollywood. We now have entirely Nigerian productions and it has given Nigeria identification, wealth aside, integrating Nigeria with the rest of the world.
Nollywood has also created jobs for Nigerians. It has kept many of our graduates and non-graduates busy abd occupied. It has also created specialisation in over 17 different categories, including directing, script writing, producing, photography, set designing, among others. It has equally generated revenue for the country and individuals alike.
My own movies
I produced the first film in Nollywood, 'The Unforgiven Sin.' That was the first film I produced and I'm still producing till now. So, I think I have been regular and have always been a constant face in the movie industry.
Future of the movie industry in Nigeria
The industry perpetually challenges itself. What I think will happen is sudden exposure. Soon, we shall have more independent producers, trying to produce works themselves while actors too would be trying to release their own works and there will be a gradual movement to progress.
Meanwhile, Nollywood is African Magic. People can't understand it but that is how we have been selling our stories in our own way. We are not following anybody; the industry has been there for itself. We have come to stay permanently. Many people are now looking up to us as role models. We are well recognised anywhere we go around the world. More people want to see our movies and how our culture has shaped the perception of people across the world about Nigeria. Our movie stars are well-known all over the world. So, the future is very bright and there is a lot of hope for practitioners.
Advice for my fans
First and foremost, I want to say that without the fans, there can't be an actor. We are nothing without our viewers. It is because they are out there that we too are where we are and so, any time we have an opportunity to say thank you, we do it whole heartedly. I say a very big thank you to them for making us who we are, for making us realise our dreams. We promise to continue to put smiles on their faces and never let them down