Renowned Nollywood actor, Anayo Modestus Onyekwere, widely known as Kanayo O. Kanayo, has expressed his concerns about the state of professionalism within the Nigerian film industry.
In a recent interview with Afia TV, he shared his views on the importance of upholding standards and values in Nollywood.
Kanayo O. Kanayo cautioned upcoming actors against seeing Nollywood as a platform for superficial pursuits such as cosmetic enhancements or a hub for promoting any form of sexual orientation.
Instead, he stressed that Nollywood should be a fertile ground for creativity and an arena for honing one’s acting skills.
He singled out “Instagram stars” as a group that has contributed negatively to the industry’s image and warned against aspiring actors aligning with them solely for short-lived success, emphasizing that such shortcuts may lead to their downfall.
The veteran actor said aspiring actors and actresses should avoid being misled by the allure of wealth and fame associated with veteran stars like Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, adding that simply impressing friends or acquaintances does not equate to genuine acting talent.
“Nollywood should not be a ground for BBL (bum enlargement), it should not be a ground for people doing wrong, it should not be a ground where people’s dollars are stolen in a hotel, and they generalize all these Nollywood girls.
“Is not a ground for gay or lesbianism, it is a ground for creativity and is not a ground for learning how to act many people come to Nollywood to learn how to act. You are supposed to come to the industry to better and hone your talent. Many girls hear Genevieve and Omotola are millionaires, many ladies will go and borrow weave-on and come to deceive themselves.
“We all have a different sector, and everybody is welcome, but the fact is found out whether you have a calling for acting. That your neighbour said you make people look like they are learning does not mean you are an actor, you need some element of education to come to Nollywood.
“It doesn’t really matter if you studied medicine but for goodness’ sake do not come to me when you are struggling because your train stopped, because most people when their market closes, will come for acting, no nah. For you to be a medical doctor you need to put in 7 years, I put in 6 years to become a lawyer. So why do you think you just come and say you want to act?
“These days do you know what happens? To a girl, whether you are fine or not if you have a jeep, you have become an actress, because they want to use that car non-stop in that movie and another movie, they (directors and producers) will give you one role to play. People are barging into the industry because some want to sell sex, some want to sell their bodies, some want to do this, and so on. It is not healthy for our industry, but everyone is welcome.
“Instagram stars are the ones giving the industry a bad name. And I do not want anybody to join them because they have little time, and they will frizzle out.’’