On Monday, April 20, 2015, Nollywood actors and producers took to the streets to express their anger about piracy that has almost sent the industry to extinction. The peaceful protest led by renowned film maker and director, Mr. Tune Kelani was taken to the Lagos House, Ikeja, where the participants were addressed by Lagos governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).
Some entertainers ENCOMIUM Weekly sought their reaction about the protest gave it a nod and called on the Federal Government to intervene to ensure the success of the struggle…
Piracy is a deadly cancer’-LAWRENCE ONUZULIKE, Producer
Piracy is a deadly cancer destroying not only Nollywood but the Nigerian manufacturing sector in general. It’s a scourge that needs to be check-mated immediately or else it’ll keep the nation impoverished.
I have very mixed feelings about the walk against piracy. Even though it may have created a little awareness on the issue, I feel that it’s rather a very feeble effort. Piracy is not exclusively a Lagos issue so, Fashola can hardly stop it. It’s a national issue and actions and comments should be directed at the appropriate federal institutions that have the capacity to tackle the issue.
‘It has been a major setback’ K-SOLO, producer and artiste
Piracy has been a major setback we are facing in this part of the world. Though it is not new all over the world but here in Nigeria it is 99 percent high. It’s has discouraged so many professionals from putting in efforts into skills development because after all the pain, no returns made.
The walk is just like a starting point to alert the incoming government to help curb it at least to 50 percent, also for people who don’t know the original and pirated copy of CD to have the knowledge as well so, they could stop patronising them. In all hoping the government can help us make money since entertainers do not have gratuities or pensions scheme.
‘The battle is for all of us’-KIKELOMO KUOJO, actress
I support the protest against piracy. It’s a sign that we’re getting more serious about the issue. The menace has really affected the industry, and something urgent must be done. However, we can’t fight piracy without the support of government. They should pass on anti-piracy bill stronger than the existing one. Those involved in pirating intellectual works should be severely death with under the law. The battle is not only for Kunle Afolayan but all of us as entertainers.
‘Enough is enough’ -YINKA QUADRI, actor
Piracy is the major enemy of the industry and it’s not a battle we actors can fight alone. It requires collective approach and with all sense of sincerity before we can make any success out of the struggle. It has really destabilized us.
The protest is a welcome idea. It’s a way of drawing government’s attention to what’s happening in the industry, and I believe with that step, those involved in the nefarious act have realized that we can’t tolerate them any longer. But to succeed in the battle against piracy, the Federal Government must actively be involved. And with the emergence of the new government having Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as head, I am sure urgent measures would be taken. The man has promised to tackle corrupt practices in every sector, and I believe entertainment won’t be an exception. We can’t continue labouring for nothing. Enough is enough.
‘It should be made a serious crime’-SAIDI BALOGUN, producer
The protest against piracy is a right step in the right direction. We ought to have been doing that since. The only thing we need is to create a united front against piracy. Then, get government involved. We need a very stiff penalty for pirating another person’s intellectual property. It should be made a serious crime, not just paying a token as fine after pirating a job worth millions of naira. Our incoming lawmakers have a lot of work to do on that. They should pass a strong anti-piracy bill that those involved can withdraw from setting the industry backward.
‘Piracy affects us a lot’-KOLASOUL, artiste
It affects us a lot. A lot of money goes down the drain; we record, shoot videos with hundreds of thousands of naira for someone to print your CD and sell a N100. The way forward is a restructuring of the music industry. Artistes need to have more faith in their works and come together to build effective distribution channels.
‘They are ready to ruin the industry’-MR. LATIN, actor and producer
The protest is just the beginning of a fresh battle against piracy. It’s not necessarily against any tribe but all those engaging in the nefarious activities should be made to refrain from such. I personally have lost a lot to piracy and that’s why most of us are discouraged in producing movies. How can you spend millions on a project and some irresponsible people somewhere will just pirate the job. They are killers. They are ready to ruin the industry. That’s why we are appealing to the incoming government of Gen. Muhammedu Buhari to intervene so that we stakeholders can reap the fruits of our hard labour.
‘We want them to destroy Alaba’ -FEMI OGEDENGBE, Producer
I joined the walk against piracy because of the problem we are facing. I have a job I shot in London, America and Nigeria but I am afraid to release it because of piracy. Kunle Afolayan is bold enough to release his movie but before it came out, it was already on the street, pirated. He went on social media to complain and people wanted to crucify him because of the comment he made but the truth is, go to Alaba market today and see for yourself, because of these, we decided to take our case to the government.
We want them to destroy Alaba. If they cannot, they should put measures to control Alaba boys.
‘This is my life, my work!’ -EFA, artiste
I haven’t released an album yet but I put out songs on online platforms. Most times, it’s for free, which shouldn’t be. People should be made to pay for music. I would want to put out an album, and I have had friends and colleagues who have released albums and piracy has affected them negatively. Now, nobody is excited to put out an album anymore since you drop it and don’t make money off it. We don’t get the value for the work we put in.
For me, I think what we artistes can do is sue the pirates and see what happens. Yes, I know the pirates have the money and resources but if you don’t try, you will never know if you would win. I hope to put out an album and God forbid someone pirates it, I will sue you for every naira you have. This is my life, my work! So, let’s take the first step and see what happens.
‘We shouldn’t patronize pirated movies, CDs’ SHIRELY IGWE, filmmaker
It is disheartening that pirates have ruined our business and the Federal Government is doing nothing about it. My advice is we shouldn’t patronize pirated movies or music.
‘We have to fight our common enemy’-FUNKY MALLAM, Comedian
I participated in the march against pirates because they are our common enemies. Since they don’ want us to survive, we would also make sure they don’t enjoy their lives. Piracy is evil.
‘Piracy is evil’ -ALEX EYENGHO, ANCOP boss
Piracy is killing business and something urgent has to be done about it. For us at the Association of Nigerian Core Producers (ANCOP), piracy is evil. It is even a virus. So, we have to deal with it.