ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM probes the apparent absence of funds and other assistance when many Nigerian celebrities find themselves in one bad situation or the other
Just recently, “Fake Love” singer, Duncan Mighty shook the table on which a lot of artistes’ management companies are standing. The singer accused Nigerian talent management companies of hyping the achievements of their artistes, saying it was unnecessary.
Duncan Mighty, in an interview, revealed that the exaggerated income and fake wealth portrayed by a lot of artistes was the reason many of them could not seek for help when needed.
There are many entertainers in the make-believe industry who are as poor and broke as “church rats”. The industry portrays them as very rich and influential while they wallow in penury. In the movie industry for instance, many iconic actors of died of curable diseases which would have been treated if there were funds to settle the hospital bills. A lot of them had to resort to begging just to get at least some of the required sum. Personalities like Pete Eneh, Enebeli Elebuwa, Ngozi Nwosu (who is now fully recovered and healthy), OJB Jazzreeel, were some of the people known to have played wealthy and influential roles in movies while in real life, they were not so. Even the industry that was supposed to be their shield abandoned them when they needed them most.
In an interview with Bruno Iwuoha, one of Nollywood’s legendary actors who almost went blind due to lack of funds to carry out an ordinary eye surgery, he lamented the decay in the industry and neglect by his own people whose responsibility was to take care of their own.
“I have gone to so many places; within and outside the country for treatment, until finally the thing [diabetes] claimed one of my eyes. As I look at you now, I’m using only one eye. They call it glaucoma. And gradually, it’s affecting the other one [eye]. Apart from places where the people who call me sometimes give me the little cash they can give me, drugs and all that; there was nothing. But I discovered that this thing [the illness] is a lifetime something.
“And it has robbed me of the job [acting]. And now, if I get a script, it will be hard for me to read it very well. And if I read it, if I strain my eyes for so long, it would look as if someone would lead me around the house or anywhere I want to go because it will affect the only one [eye]. So that’s my problem,” he said.
After that, Emeka Morgan Nwanne Oguejiofor Jr, CEO, Morgan Entertainment, invited him to the US and took him to one of the best hospitals, paying all the bills including hospital, feeding and medication. Iwuoha is now bouncing back to life after getting help from Nigerians.
Upcoming artistes are confused:
Many Nigerian musicians are not what you think they are. The Lamborghini, Bugatti, Range Rover, Limo, and other assurances that are being portrayed on air are just to make people feel they have arrived to improve their celebrity status.
Who would believe that Kiss Daniel, even with all the fame has nothing to show for? Many of the artistes put pen to papers, signing contracts without even looking at the consequences. It happened to Kelly Handsome who was with Kennis Music. Because of the clause in his contract, he wasn’t allowed to leave which led to one of the biggest divorces between a record label and its artiste. Today where is Kelly Handsome? He is following politicians about and still dropping some singles which we’ve never heard.
Upcoming artistes who are still squatting with friends use money they would have channelled into something profitable to shoot videos, renting exotic cars claiming to be balling. While in real life, they are in one suburb in Gwagwalada or Masaka struggling to pay for a room apartment with no toilet nor bathroom. They live fake life, preventing people from even assisting them when the need be.
Celebrities should understand that they can be modest in whatever they do. They can’t continue posting on social media that they have everything in life, live in the biggest of castles and want people to come to their aid when they are in distress.
Like popular actor, Aremu Afolayan, said, “By the way, I live my life. People tend to think that I am the richest Yoruba actor, but that is a lie. Nigerians assume a lot. I live in a rented apartment because I cannot afford to build one. When they see me buy a new car, they don’t know if I paid for the car in instalments; instead they call me a big boy. What type of big boy lives on N50,000 or N100,000 income per film as an actor?
I challenge any Nigerian actor that is living larger than life to state how they made their money because I am sure it is not from the movies they make. I am talking about both the English and Yoruba actors. If they like, they can say they make N5m per film, they cannot afford to build or buy a house at Lekki or Victoria Island or Ikoyi. It is impossible. They should call out mathematicians to figure it out. It is a lie.
It is because they meet some influential people that give them businesses or they have side businesses. Since we do not all meet such people or make the kind of money they make through these people, we just have to be contented with what we have. In my life, I have never seen an ‘educated illiterate’ country like Nigeria. Nigerians are very gullible when it comes to judging other people’s lifestyle since they do not know anything, they assume. Then social media came and it made things worse.”
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