Emeka Ike has replied veteran producer of the popular Super Story TV series, Wale Adenuga, over comments made last week.
Adenuga had said that he would never be part of Nollywood bcause according to him, it had been bastardized by current practitioners in the industry including Emeka Ike.
Adenuga had said: “Would you then call me a member of Nollywood? Bello made Omo-Orukan in 1980s. Will Bello now come under Nollywood formed by somebody who began his career in 1992? Emeka Ike started in 1992 and in one of his interviews I read, he said he founded Nollywood. So, would I belong to such industry founded by Emeka Ike who was born when I was making films? Or will Ogunde of blessed memory consider Emeka Ike as his own pioneer?”
But Ike has come out in defence of Nollywood producers, slamming Adenuga for insinuating that the Igbos had taken over Nollywood.
He said: “The Nollywood you know today is not the one that cropped up from Hilbert Ogungbe. Nollywood came about with the sales, marketing and multiplication of CDs. The Igbos got more involved by their investments. The Igbos did what they had to do, whether good or not, it has given us the platform.
“They provided the medium for conveying our movies to every home. After a while, the Igbo people decided to go into movie-making themselves. We should try to see how we can empower the different regional ethnic areas to make their movies, interpret their culture and at the same time have Nollywood at the centre.
“It is wrong to start saying who started Nollywood, who did this and who did that. It’s not a good way to go for a man of his pedigree. When he made his movie, nobody knew him, just like we made our movies when nobody knew us. The platform has been created by both the Yoruba and Igbo marketers in Idumota and he started making it more than even most of us that created the image that he took advantage of.
“Good for him, we are happy, he’s a visionary. But as a huge stakeholder in this industry, talking about the Igbos or Yorubas is unnecessary at this stage of our country’s democracy and development where we ought to come together and chart a course. We should come together and frustrate the enemies of the industry, the enemies are those who have stood between the Nigerian youths and their pension money.
“They prevent our youths from being paid when they are shown on TV. Actors should be paid each time they are shown on air, that’s how it is on international contract and movie making standard. Artistes should be properly remunerated anytime their movies are shown on air. These are things we should be working towards. I’m personally working towards galvanising Kannywood, Nollywood and the Yoruba movies together.
“We cannot be divided, we should have a central working system under which we would have different links: Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Ijaw etc. They should all be streamlined under Nollywood, creating a stronger product. For you to now start dividing, it is backward for a man of that pedigree”.