Nollywood Must Prioritise Members Welfare, Self-Regulate Association – ILFF Founder

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Founder of the Indigenous Language Film Festival, Osezua Stephen-Imobhio, has tasked Nollywood guilds and associations to prioritise the welfare of their members, in addition to self-regulating its various organisations.

Osezua, in a signed statement said Nollywood guilds and associations are currently focused on dues collation, attendance of high-profile events, and are more reactive as opposed to being proactive organizations.

The festival founder's statement follows the recent death of Nollywood actor, Pope Junior, nee Pope Obumneme Odonwodo, who died via a boat mishap, alongside three other actors at the Anam River in


Anambra State on return from a film location. Their deaths were chalked up to the experience of the head sailor, and ignorance of sailing guidelines on the part of the actors.
In the past two months, there have deaths of actors such as John Okafor aka Mr Ibu, Amechi Muonagor, Adejumoke Aderounmu and Saratu Gidado, all revolves around ill-health.

Osezua noted that while the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) action suspending all filming around riverine area is necessary its more of knee-jerk reaction than proactive one.
Nollywood, he said must learn from these unfortunate incidents to prevent their reoccurrence by ensuring the safety of it members at the workplace, ensuring the health of dues-paying actors are insured, and self-regulating its variant organizations.

“These tragic deaths could have been prevented if our guilds and associations were more proactive rather than reactive. The AGN could have instead implemented regulations requiring anyone hiring its members to work in riverine areas to provide life-jackets for each person, deploy lifeguards, and have medical personnel on standby.

“An increasing number of actors are suffering from kidney problems, most likely stemming from long hours of work each day. Does the AGN have provisions in their regulations regarding the maximum number of hours an actor can work? Are there insurance policies to protect dues-paying members of the associations?”

In electing their leaders for their various associations, Osezua tasked actors to make questions regarding their welfare top priority in choosing their leaders.
“It is time for Nollywood guilds and associations to embrace greater responsibility and ensure the overall well-being of their members.”

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