African Outlook Online


When Life Imitates Art: The Wayward Role Reversals of Nollywood Stars - Part 2

When Life Imitates Art:

The Wayward Role Reversals of Nollywood Stars - Part 2


By Femi Akintunde-Johnson

We may have to find help in psychiatry or psychology to explain fully the transition of the girl from a decent though humble home to a woman without the slightest trace of decorum or personal integrity.

What is in their genes that prevents them from shutting their laps from any “money-miss-road” or chief-motor-park-touts masquerading as promoters or marketers? How do young pretty, otherwise comely girls step out of university and translate into a vicious vixen who skim the edges of artists' haunts preying on irresponsible boyfriends and unrepentant movie-godfathers whose libidos are shaped only by the next ‘locations’?


To stretch it further – maybe the madness is in our genes as black people. Maybe. Could it be a national deficiency syndrome? Could it be that these actresses are not unthinkingly mirroring fake lifestyles, but indeed are replicating the true underbelly of our unconscious self in all its shining unglory? Maybe.


Or perhaps, it is a cosmic reaction to all these esoteric excursions or babalawo diabolism garishly depicted in our movies. Maybe the sinister realms have eventually stirred in anger at all these exposés in our local videos, and have thus unraveled systemic ‘deforestation’ of the leading lights of our filmic fantasies. Maybe. Or maybe not.


However, it is not all downhill for the Nollywood real-life romance. It is not all bad mamas that define the moral quality and aspirational depth of our acting community. There are few images that give hope and assurance to impressionable minds. We still have people who - in spite of the devastating challenges of surviving in the entertainment sector within depressing economic and political upheavals – still maintain their dignity and strive to separate their private lives from their make-believe creations. Omotola or Omosexy is still Mrs. Ekeinde. The evergreen Joke Silva is still clearly Mrs. Jacobs. We are glad that the tribes of Dakore Egbuson, Lillian Amah-Aluko, Amaka Igwe, Ego Boyo, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Gloria Anozie-Young, Omoni Oboli, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha, etc, are still abiding with us.


Beyond the frailties and inadequacies known to every human being, these ladies and others whom we are unaware of, have kept a safe and responsible distance between their acting roles and the paths God has chosen for them as females. These ladies continue to provide beacons of pride, character and profound examples of wholesomeness…thereby etching into young minds that acting very well as prostitute in a video production doesn’t give you the experience and latitude to prostitute your famous body in real life scenarios, for whatever reason.


Even as we knuckle down on licentious ladies, no one is under the impression that the menfolk of Nollywood are saints - in fact, it is possible some of them have even steamier notoriety. And they will have their day in the sun, soon enough.


In all these things however, the message that should pierce through the hearts of our women gifted with the garb is that all eyes are on them; not expecting them to live super-woman lifestyles or practice conducts unknown to man… No. For the sake of the impressionable young ones, and generations who look up to them all across the globe, they simply should become examples and representations of the moderate, the good and the reasonable in all their private and public interactions.


Actresses should express their talents on the stage of art, and live normal responsible lives on the stage of life. After all, the shelf life of a genuine star is too short to merely waste on dignifying philandering and cultivation of infamy.


Remember dear ladies, we see and adore your alter-egos well enough on our screens; it will bode well for us all if you keep your private affairs not only limited to yourself and loved ones; please, do try and meet up to the demands of your status - being positive role models.





Femi Akintunde-Johnson (Writer, Journalist & Author), Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.