Entertainment of Friday, 3 February 2017
Renowned Nollywood actor Mike Ezuruonye is advocating for a more collaborative effort between Ghana and Nigeria to grow their respective movie industries. He noted that some few years ago, the two countries were a formidable force in the sector which led to the growth of the two industries.
That collaboration saw joint productions between the two countries which gave prominence to popular actors and actresses in Ghana like Jackie Appiah, Yvonne Nelson, Majid Michel and Van Vicker, to become household names in Nigeria.
Speaking in an exclusive interview on the Cosmopolitan Mix on Joy FM with Doreen Andoh Friday, the ‘bad boy’ actor believes that Ghanaian and Nigerian actors can maximize profit if they work together.
“Movie making is an expensive medium. Our craft is in no doubt okay but you cannot just say I’m a good actor and it’s okay,” he said.
Mike noted that the viewership of African movies go beyond the boundaries of the continent and wondered “what are we doing to connect that viewership. What are we doing to maximize that viewership?” To him, “The musicians are getting it right gradually… they are getting their royalties,” but unfortunately, the actors are not getting it.
“We need to know how we connect. There is so much we have to do but we have to come together because we lost it. Nigeria and Ghana were one force. Right now, a few of us are talking…I am also pioneering this and say let come back again,” the fine actor revealed.
The ‘Games Men Play’ star noted that he does not see himself as “a Nigerian actor. I’m an African actor because I believe that what we do has been able to properly educate Africa and make Africa be looked at on the outside as a window for which Africa is, was and would be.”
He believes that movies serve as a platform to sell Africa to the world “we have beautiful people, beautiful culture.”
Mike therefore stressed that due to the influence of African movies, there is the need to “raise the bar” to be able to compete globally. “It’s about raising the African cinema to where it’s supposed to be because right now the world is watching.”
Now, giant movie outfits like 20 Century Fox and Netflix are now in Africa. The development, he said, means they are now tapping into us, “it means we have something.”
The actor, who is in Ghana to premiere his first movie, ‘Brother Jekwe’, said he was impressed with some actors now taking courses to enhance their craft.