Nollywood: Omotola Wasted Money and Time! By Chima Okereke




I came across a tweet by Omotola sometime that she is taking over Kenya from Lupita Nyong’o and I was wondering if it was a jab, a joke or a statement of fact.

In the article she based her opinion on a report that she has huge following in Kenya and so an elated Omotola is happy. Kenyans are watching DSTV, where old films of Omotola and others are shown.  Lupita is a global player in acting, she is an Oscar winner! How can you equal the clapping-for-Omotola-people of Kenyan with the global acknowledgement of Lupita? Omotola should know that Lupita is as it stands now more popular in Nigeria than her. Omotola stopped acting some years ago except her outing in ‘Ije.’
It is important to state that Omotola is talented, extremely talented that only four female known actors are in the same category with her in role interpretations. She remains in that top five even when she is not “acting”.

You see actors like Omotola do not understand that those who really watch films in Nigeria now do not really know her. The average cinema goers now were in primary schools when Omotola was active in acting film. If she should walk the streets and those within the bracket of 30 and above are asked to keep quiet, few people will recognize her. Those who would look, will just see a beautiful lady and wonder where they must have seen the face and of course it was when they were little while watching TV with that child’s eye.
Omotola instead of consolidating on building her fan base in Nigeria took months, wasting time and money in travelling to the USA, going from New York to Hollywood, going to TV shows and programs thinking that her appearing in those shows will land her a Hollywood movie role. Hollywood does not work that way. Lupita built herself from there, she went to school there. She understood the system. There are structures over there. Lupita has all the backroom and back up elements to be a Hollywood star. All Omotola got from these trips were to be “a guest” on set or be a member of an audience while shoot went on.

I expected Omotola to learn from that minor mistake and do certain quality films that will consolidate her outing. I wonder if she was looking at Genevieve who is not doing ‘Nollywood films?’ I guess she knows that Genevieve is on our faces through her involvement as a brand face of a telecommunication’s company. Genevieve’s face and that of a Hollywood star are seen together. It is on billboards, television adverts in different entertainment programs. The demography that knew Omotola are now pre occupied with other things. Omotola is married and always talk about her Captain husband. But Genevieve and others like Rita Dominic are “single” and can be “fantasized about.” So they can still get more fans. This is entertainment and the reason why entertainers now do this ‘Baby Mama’ thing is to still retain certain fan base that prefers an unmarried entertainer than the husband and wife of someone.
Omotola, Genevieve and others it should be recalled displaced the likes of Sandra Achums, Regina Askia and others, who let down their guards and became complacent. Some started selecting scripts, some travelled out of Nigeria and by the time they realized that they need to be on the screen, the likes of Genevieve, Omotola and others were already people’s favourites with their super performances as actors. It was difficult for those ladies to come back till now. Only may be Eucharia Anunobi was able to stay for long.
I will conclude by saying that Omotola should just find a way and come back strong, we cannot afford to have someone like that go into oblivion. She can do like some of other actors by going into producing. But in producing she should do a good story, follow a new approach that will make a statement. She must not do these Lekki stories that only hit it on the period of its premiere and after that it is yanked off screens by cinema owners.
Omotola must come back strong. Richard Mofe Damijo went into Politics (but he was and still is a brand face also) and he is back. So when will Omotola come back as an actor not in blogs and magazines but a serious top five contender and a family and favourite?

Chima Okereke
Writer, Director and Convener NollywoodFD Initiative

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