2 October 2017
By Daniel Nyoung Edem
Nollywood veteran, Chief Chiwetalu Agu, has urged restraint among the warring parties in the on-going leadership feud bedevilling the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN.
In calling for progress, Agu also warned against violence, which he says never leads to progress anywhere.
The veteran actor bemoaned the impasse in AGN, in which some parties have refused to accept defeat and move on.
In an interview in Enugu over the weekend, the actor said that greed has a way of ruining one’s career.
“I want stakeholders to begin to do away with over-ambition. That this post is good for me to occupy is okay, but when you struggle for it for too long and you see that it doesn’t work, you can leave it.
“If you ask me, I am the most qualified to run the affairs of Nollywood. I started my career in 1981 in Enugu so I had been in the scene acting 12 years before the advent of Nollywood, of which I am a pioneer.”
“There is no way you can talk of the history of Nollywood without me occupying a substantial part of it. I had my theatre group known as the ‘Inspirers’ in those days. I acted in many NTA programmes, like the ‘Ikoro’, produced by Joe Onyekwere; ‘Things Fall Apart’ in 1986, after which I put together a soap ‘The Advocate’ which never saw the light of the day. In 1987 I went to Lagos, where I featured in ‘The Ripples’ produced by Zeb Ejiro. I played the character of Chief Abunna, the Okemilinaezoluora 1 of Etiti and the Odezulumba of Ogbunike town.”
“I conducted the first ever audition of what later became ‘Living in Bondage’, a film from the stables of Kenneth Nnebue that produced stars like Kenneth Okonkwo, Kanayo O. Kanayo and many others. From there we moved on to the production of ‘Taboo,’ where I played the role of Ichie Ogwu and numerous productions in the 90s.
“So whatever is happening to our children concerns me. So having come this far, people should look at me to steer the ship of state, but because of my mild ambition, I am where I am today.”
Chief Agu therefore wondered, “Why must we insist we must be president, governor, chairman and this and that?”
He stressed that it was good to have political intentions but said that such intentions should not continue when it is causing havoc and division among people.
Agu charged the parties causing crisis in the guild to kill their over-ambition, advising that they withdraw their interest where such effort was not yielding fruits.
The actor also advised the warring factions to look to other areas, rather than kill the industry fighting in vain.
“It must not be President. There are many areas you can pilot the affairs of Nollywood instead of insisting it must be President.
I address these people as square pegs in round holes; so for God to bless your career, you have to kill your ambition, kill your over-ambition.
“Those who are in crisis, is God blessing them? Do you still see them on-screen or posters? No! They have gone out of the spotlight. We are talking about administration so if it is not good for your head, you quit. Quit and return to your constituency,” he said.
The all-round Nollywood veteran actor further called on the Federal Government to treat Biafrans with equity, justice and fairness, without which a people should be allowed to part ways in an unequal relationship.