Chairman of Wale Adenuga Production (WAP), Wale Adenuga has dissociated himself from Nollywood saying he would never be part of the industry.
Adenuga, 65, a former cartoonist/publisher, whose company produces TV series like Super story, Nnena and friends, This Life among others, said Nollywood had been bastardized as a few younger actors and actresses have hijacked the industry.
He revealed this in an interview with Vanguard, saying he and other senior Yoruba film-makers will not be part of Nollywood.
Reacting to why yoruba actors not under the Nollywood, Adenuga quipped “The reason is that when somebody claims he founded Nollywood, Oga Bello and of course I cannot be part of that. You were alive in 1983 when I produced my first film when Emeka Ike and his Nollywood people were still in school. They started their own film-making in 1992 and they are claiming that 1992 was the beginning of film-making in Nigeria”.
He continued “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?”
“Young boys and girls have pocketed Nollywood and sent veteran actors into forced retirement. These old actors are now living in abject poverty due to inactivity. Some of them facing avoidable deaths. But you see, there is nothing bad in adopting Nollywood as name for Nigeria film industry, what I expected was that when you are telling the story of that Nollywood, it behooves on you to say it started in 1950s, giving credence to those who started it before you”.
“I can’t be part of a Nollywood started by Emeka Ike because I was making films before he was born. I can’t consider him as my pioneer. That is why Yoruba and Hausa are not part of it. Go and ask Muazu in the North who has been making films since God knows when, will Emeka Ike be his pioneer? They defined Nollywood as product of 1992. It suggests that those who have been making films before 1992 are not part of Nollywood. That to me is a dangerous claim”, he stated.