Renowned Nollywood director, Chico Ejiro has dished out interesting details on social issues affecting Nollywood today including claims of sexual harassment by producers and directors as well as reasons why marriages fail to work out in the industry.
In an interview with Yes magazine, he revealed that sexual harassment is present in various fields of human endeavour and people should not make such a fuss of it in Nollywood. He also said that most Nollywood marriages crumble due to pride. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
On sexual harassment:
Since 1988 or so that I entered Nollywood, I still keep hearing this. Azuh Arinze, I have to tell you something, it’s not just in Nollywood. Maybe it happens or it doesn’t happen, but I’ve heard about it before. But in the life we live today; in your journalism even; even in Nigeria Police, in Nigeria Army, in politics, even, banking is more difficult. When you send those girls to go and pursue people to open accounts.
So, what are you talking about? They should leave Nollywood alone. It’s part of life, and again let me tell you this – if you are good as an artiste, if it happens to you, say no! You will still make it. Why? Because you are good. Maybe it’s those ones who are not good that complain. Some people, maybe, want to bribe their way to the top. So, I don’t think it’s an issue. It happens. It’s in banking, it’s in…all aspects of business life.
On failed marriages:
Why my own has been strong is because there are some principles about life. If you see any marriage, you will think there is no problem, but it is not so. I will tell you just one small story – when I got married, 3 years after I got married, I got so pissed off about marriage that I said I wanted to walk away. And I went to meet the Registrar and the woman sat me and my wife down and gave us education.
So, since that day, we now understood that in marriage you must be patient, you must solve your own problem yourself, a third party must not come in. There’s a key word in marriage, it’s called communication. You must learn how to talk to your wife. Once you come back, don’t just sleep, don’t think you are king kong, don’t think you are too much, you have so much money, who is she?
No, no, no…Don’t do that. I go to market 90 percent of the time in my house, I cook, because I like to cook. Don’t allow your friends to deceive you. So, there’s a factor you should understand – in our marriage, nobody should come between us; we settle our problems. There are times we don’t talk, but the following day we just say do you know you are a very useless man, stupid woman, ehen! Don’t allow your friends to say I saw your husband, I saw your wife, no, no, no…So, we understand that and it’s been keeping us.
But in Nollywood, why marriages don’t work; one day I will go and give them a small lecture. I’m sorry to say this – the girls feel they are too big, above the men, while the guys, those ones that cannot manage their marriages, believe in what we call king kong. King kong believes I’m too much, who is this woman? So, until they can come together, you the lady, you are submissive…you cannot have a husband and 24 hours you are on locations, everyday you travel round the world, next tomorrow you are in one party in London and you say you are a married woman. How will it work? Or because you are richer than the boy, you cannot cook for him, you employ a house girl or your younger sister to be talking care of your husband.
E be like Fela song – she go say I be lady! Your husband smokes, you smoke, your husband clubs, you club, you wan talk say I am a star. Why? Because one big billionaire is investing money on you. When you go out, all the people are shouting super star, super star, super star. So, they should separate their lives and marriages from acting and become humble. But there are some good examples in Nollywood o!
All of them are not just bad. We have people like Chioma Chukwuka – Apotha, she has been keeping her marriage; Omotola Jalade has been keeping her marriage, Sister Joke Silva. A lot of them have been keeping their marriages. So, those who cannot keep theirs should go and learn from those who keep their marriages.