WE DON’T BEAR ‘WOOD’ HERE-----JIDE KOSOKO

Ever before he took over leadership of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP), Prince Jide Kosoko, popular actor, had nursed the dream of setting standards for members of the association. As one of the founding members of the ANTP, he had worked with different executives with the objectives of boosting welfare of members and improving on the quality of performances.

And having spent about two years in office, Kosoko recently announced a number of changes and projects which his administration had initiated to facilitate development in the sector. Speaking in a recent radio interview in Lagos, the president of ANTP unvieled his programmes, one of which is the desire to grade artistes based on talent as well as the need to introduce scripts into the production of movies, particularly in the circle of artistes of Yoruba extraction.

Setting new standards
Everybody knows that we have not been doing well in the sector. And that is why we decided to set new standards particularly in the area of classifying duties in the industry. The constitution of the ANTP now empowers the national executive council of the association to ensure that various professional guilds under the umbrella organisation are well managed. And that is why we have various guilds for actors, directors and cinematographers. When things go rough in any organisation, the bad elements within are always happy because they benefit from the status quo.That was what has happened to ANTP and it is quite unfortunate.

Corruption in ANTP
It would be recalled that my predecessor, Adebayo Salami, tried to put a lasting solutions to the problems years ago but unfortunately the same set of people (bad elements) frustrated all his efforts. But I have started trying my best to put things in place.
First, we must ensure that we put an end to corruption, if we don’t curb it, then we have no business in the industry. We also intend to instill discipline in members. The membership strength of our association is almost 20,000 and the number of the bad eggs is about 40 to 50. I can afford to send that number out, except they are prepared to keep to the rules and regulations.

Absence of professionalism
The way we interpret our roles is not good enough. And this is one of the things we want to correct. In the ANTP, we all started from the stage and later graduated to the screen, but a situation whereby every member of the association believes that he or she is a potential producer should not arise. All we are saying now is that we should embrace professionalism. Each artiste must be known for specific area of specialization and, of course, each of them must has either formal or informal training in a particular field. If you are a director, you cannot produce and still lead the production crew, there must be a division of labour and that is what the deal is all about.

New policy guideline is intended for all members and it is aimed at regulating all activities in the association. Everybody, from the president to the least member would be answerable to it. So, the policy is like the constitution of Nigeria-we shall continue to amend it until we attain the best. That is the situation.

Grading of artistes
We have decided to grade all artistes into categories of ABC and D. In addition to this, all the movies and plays by our members must be scripted. Gone are the days when our members would just improvise their lines and still get recorded on set. Hencforth, all productions must be scripted and the scripts handed to every member of cast.

Love of women
I will continue to like women and, infact, I cannot do without them. Women form the bulk of our fans.

To make film?
So far, I get a script, cost it, assisted by a director, work for the money to make a good film.

Time of duty?
I work nine hours per day but I observe break time in between.

Nollywood/ANTP
The Yoruba artistes started and commenced it. They also started home video. We have contributed our quota but we are not prepared to change the history of film making in the country. Our fore fathers’ minds will never be happy if we do so

Nollywood
We don’t bear ‘wood’ here. Peter Igho, a producer, formerly with the NTA only used it to describe films produced by the Igbos.
If they think that Nollywood started with Living in bondage, then, we are not part of it. Admittedly, they spend more money on production than we do.

Unity in Nigerian film industry
Selfish ambition is pervasive. I have been involved in the sanitising process of the industry.
Our people are so greedyand have ulterior motives. Many artistes are only interested in themselves.

Wunmi
She was on suspension while her case was on. Later, she wrote, begging for pardon.



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