Girls seeking movie roles bombard this director with sexy texts, but ‘I show them
With the advent of GSM, all has not been the same with the Nigerian movie industry. Certainly not when girls are all out to prove a point: That you can use what you have to get what you want.
Some Nigerian actresses who think they have the bottom power are smartly deploying it. They have now deployed the new way of hunting down movie directors as a way of advertising their “wares” and by chance, get roles in home entertainment flicks.
It has got so bad that movie makers are in hiding from desperately stardom-seeking actresses.
Ekenna Udo Igwe, director and actor who discovered TV bad boy Jim Iyke in his movie 'The Prisoners' disclosed to Sunday Sun the horrific level of sexual harassment he is exposed to every day by actresses who deploy the GSM technology in search of men to trap with their “wares”.
“They bombard me every day with text messages. They offer themselves to me and tell me that they must be stars” Igwe told Sunday Sun in an exclusive chat. “I have heard about sexual harassment but one thing is certain, any woman who is harassed sexually brought it upon herself. The texts are so raw, the contents are unprintable! Oh yes, if I open my phone message book, you will be shocked out of your wits.
They tell you they will do anything, go to any length to be stars at all costs and stop at nothing. Some of them are daring. I don't know if it is the lure of the money or it is just the fame they want.”
So, how does he handle all that? “I show the messages to my wife. One thing is very certain, ordinarily, I wouldn't touch you with a 10 foot pole if you cheapen what you have, be it a man or a woman.”
He is at a loss as to why these women will come so cheap: “I don't know if it is just competition but so many of our actresses are desperate for reasons best known to them. Some want to go into acting to get exposed to men and many directors know that this is just what they have in mind. These set of actresses are desperate. They are ready to do anything to get roles. It does not matter whether they are good or not, they just want roles.”
According to him, a good actress will always be patient and bid her time and not throw herself cheaply at directors to get roles. “If a director makes overtures, you either take it or you walk away. Any director who dishes out roles on the basis of sexual favours is done for. He is mortgaging his career for sexual favours!”
But just when you think that Igwe would crucify the girls for coming cheap, he turns at his colleagues who indulge in what he describes as ignoble practice.
“Sometimes, it may not be the fault of this girls. Some of these directors know that but for directing they would not have met some class of girls, so you begin to see such manifestations from them, but again, I believe only stupid directors will do that for obvious reasons.”
However, he claims the argument for sexual harassment is tricky and hard to establish. Hear him: “Also remember that directors fall in love with people but for the fact that directors are directors, they stand out. If a director likes an artiste, it is natural that he would also want to encourage that artiste. I believe that when we say sexual harassment, it means that a girl is forced into sexual relations against her will.
But then, no girl would be forced to do what she does not want to do. At the end of the day, is it really sexual harassment or an agreement between two consenting adults? I believe that sexual harassment is when you use your own position to gain undue advantage but because there is an option, the girl has a choice to either take it or leave it. I want to believe there is nothing like sexual harassment. It depends on who is involved.
“Knowing that I am a married man keeps them at bay,” says Igwe. “My wife is also an actress. If you are a director and single, young girls are going to chase you like a pack of wolves and when you want to settle down, you will have problems. I have a lot of them as friends who are not finding it easy. For those of us married, it is a lot easier.
How is his wife coping? “She also understands the challenges of being a director and she also understands that a lot of girls need help and they have to go to the director but above all, she also has confidence in me. She is not bothered. Some of these girls have even advised her to hang around me wherever I am going because of the number of girls around me.”
He has an advice for single directors: “Get married! The truth is that it is difficult because there are so many girls out there who want to get hooked. When you are married, you remember you have a beautiful woman at home. Responsibilities caution you.”