Interviews

Antar Laniyan speaks on 30 years on set

Antar Laniyan

‘I am not fulfilled yet’

ANTAR Laniyan is a force to reckon with as far as Nigerian movie industry is concerned.  The ebony actor whose career has spanned 30 years told ENCOMIUM Weekly in a phone interview on Friday, April 18, 2014, that he is not fulfilled yet.  He said his ambition to own a movie academy is yet to be realized.

The Osogbo, Osun born entertainer also justified the establishment of the new association, Theatre and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), which he belongs and much more…

Your career has spanned about 30 years, how would you describe the experience so far?

The experience, so far, has been good.  One is not really well off but we’re not scavenging.  We thank God for that.  To be sincere, it has been rough and tough.  Most of us came in when the job was not fetching the practitioners any penny.  Then, it was just a matter of doing what you love doing, even on empty stomachs.  Those who came in about 15 years ago are very lucky.  They get paid for whatever role they play.

With benefit of hindsight, what are the major challenges facing the industry?

Our major challenges are piracy and government’s nonchalant attitude to the plight of the Nigerian artistes.  Our new entrants also need basic skills before practicing.  They need to attend movie academies.

What do you enjoy the most in being an actor?

Job satisfaction, finito.

Would you say you’re living your dream?

No.

Since you started out till date, was there any goal you set that you’re yet to achieve?

Yes, there is.  That’s to establish a movie academy.  I want to have my own movie academy where I will be training people in every aspect that has to do with the industry.  I still believe that I can achieve it by the special grace of God.

Can you highlight the major problems of the industry and how they can be addressed?

Let the mediocres give room for those who really know about the job and willing to improve on what they know.

You were the National Vice President, Motion Pictures of Association of Nigeria Theatre Art Practitioners (ANTP), before things fell apart.  Now, we learnt you’re in The Movie and Theatre Practitioners of Nigeria (TAMPAN). What informed the decision?

Let me quickly correct this.  I was not the vice president of ANTP because it didn’t take place. I would wish to be elected and not selected.  I want to be democratically elected.  The wish of the people must be obeyed.  There shouldn’t be any self imposition.  Most people are now in TAMPAN.  Everybody is free there, no one pushes anybody around in TAMPAN.  All animals in TAMPAN are equal.  Nobody shouts any junior member down in TAMPAN.  It’s a new era.  Everybody is now happy.  TAMPAN spreads across the country, North, South, East and West.  From the Niger, Benue, Sokoto and Lagos creeks. The worst is over, especially for the elderly ones.  They won’t be neglected anymore. People should just watch and see.

Is forming a new association the solution facing the Yoruba movie sector?

Yes, we need that new association.  The younger ones are sad.    Why?  Then, to right the wrong, the youth came up with The Movie Ambassadors.  Now, they are doing well and happy.  Check them out, this is really a new era.

What do you think is actually wrong with the system?

Just like I said, our people need good orientation as regards the job.  That’s why they need to attend a movie academy.  We can’t remain on the same spot for life.

Can we say Antar Laniyan is fulfilled having put in 30 years into the profession?

Not at all, I still have a lot to accomplish.  If things were to be in order, I have a lot to deliver. But I am working towards them.  For instance, I want to own a movie academy but there is no money to back it up yet.

You’re always very busy, how do you take care of the homefront?

I have my schedule.  I don’t allow my being busy to affect my home.

Has your wife been coping well?

My wife is coping.  Yes, indeed.

What are you working on at the moment?

I will be directing a soap opera soon, a new thing and very unique.  Africans would love it.  It is about us, I mean you and I.

 – TADE ASIFAT

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