The fray over the ownership of Nollywood by NollyYoruba may just have begun as veteran Yoruba actors and actresses have given their backing to Aisha Lawal who initially brought up the controversy.
A statement credited to Chief Adebayo Salami, aka Oga Bello, Taiwo Hassan, aka Ogogo and Lanre Hassan, aka Iya Awero has established that the late Pa Herbert Ogunde, Ade Love and Duro Ladipo were the pioneers of Nollywood.
According to Oga Bello, Ogogo and others, Nollywood didn’t start in 80s or early 90s but since 1940s when the first cinema was opened in Yaba, Glover’s Street.
Backing this assertion, an American-based cinematographer also gave the founding of film making and theatre business in Nigeria to Herbert Ogunde, Ade Love, Duro Ladipo, Kola Ogunmola, Baba Sala and others.
Lawal had expressed in an interview with Tribune that the Yoruba people created and pioneered the Nigerian movie industry popularly known as Nollywood.
She said, “We own the industry. Go back to research. The industry belongs to the Yoruba people. If you go back to research, you will hear from people like Herbert Ogunde and Ade Love…we started this industry…we are there already.
But reacting, actor Gideon Okeke disagreed noting it is individualistic and reeks of ignorance, as Mary Njoku had kicked scornfully thus, ” I think she is right, that is why it is called Yollywood. Nigerian don’t know how to pronounce it. And every Nigerian filmmaker was granted ‘Yorobian’ Citizenship to be part of the industry.”
In her word, Destiny Etiko had earlier appealed to her Yoruba colleagues in the industry to adopt Nigerian Lingua Franca. She noted that many of them only know how to communicate in their dialect which makes communication very poor. She however appealed to them to learn how to communicate either in English or pidgin.
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