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In an interview with Sahara TV, the writer, poet & social critique said late premier of the old Western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was a greater man than South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, Dr. Nelson Mandela.
I am too much of an Awolowo man not to see that the process of moving into independence in South Africa and in Nigeria followed exactly the same pattern. It was based on a negotiated settlement. The liberation struggle did not create the end of apartheid. It was a negotiation and Nigerians negotiated exactly the way Mandela negotiated.
“You can hype it if you like, but the pattern was exactly the same. You move from one meeting to the other, discussing politics and economics, and they successfully convinced Mandela to buy the pig in a poke of an economy and they also successfully succeeded in convincing Nigerians to buy the pig in a poke of an economy.
“The only man in Nigeria, who stood up against it, was (Obafemi) Awolowo. He was quickly jailed and all his men scattered across the prisons in Nigeria. Some driven abroad and the educational system that he had put in place was smashed.” Ofeimun said
“People talk about Mandela’s capacity to put various classes (of people) together as theory, but Awolowo ironed it out very clearly, why you don’t need a class struggle, in order to create a society in which all children can go to school; in which everybody can get a job, and in which old age pensions will be paid to people.
“It is not just love and I want to emphasise that. Those who criticise Awolowo’s socialism for wanting in love are obviously basing their argument on his claim that a government should be like a sun that shines on all equally. If it is about a theory of how to bring the people together on the African continent, none is as good as the Awolowo’s and I’m not trying to pretend.
“Bring all their writings, fine phrases, alright, but reduce them to economic terms, and I can tell you that there is only one man who rivals Awolowo in this respect and that is Nkrumah. Unfortunately unlike Awolowo, Nkrumah did not believe in either a democratic or a federal theory. If you want to save Africa, you need those two.”
Ofeimun said he chose Awolowo over Mandela because..
“The simple reason is that what needed to be done in South Africa, after apartheid was precisely what Awolowo wanted for Western Region and Nigeria after independence. Which is to say put every child at school, ensure that productivity takes the creativity of the individual citizen into proper focus and build the relationship between people and not on whether they did not love each other? But whether there is justice and equality.”
posted by Tswahg of 9jaceleb
Some of the stakeholders have continued to question the name ‘Nollywood’ and the 20 years tag put as the life span of the now nose-diving industry.
The release of after a movie, Living In Bondage, on VHS, 20 years ago has changed the face of the Nigeria movie industry and gave it a big bang.
Many veterans, especially those in the Yoruba genre, have rejected the claim that the industry is only 20 years old when the likes of Hubert Ogunde, Ade Love, Baba Sala and others had been in the industry as far back in the 50s.
In this regard, a group of progressive members of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), led by Yomi Fabiyi, is seeking renaming of the industry to ‘Naiwood’.
The group claims that this name will truly represent all the stakeholders, and will be devoid of tribal dichotomy, which the group said the present ‘Nollywood’ encourages and represents.
In his message to Nigeriafilms, Yomi said:
“If the acronym for their movie industry means they started two decades ago, perhaps there was no one producing (movies) amongst them in the last 21 years.
“We inherited film making, we had legendary filmmakers in Nigeria before then. [We] can’t fold our arms and watch then sweep under the carpet [the effort of our veterans] with an acronym (Nollywood).
“That acronym NOLLYWOOD is not acceptable by us, if it represents 20 years. We’ve films shot in Nigeria 60, 50 and 40 years ago on celluloid (the biggest filming standard in the world before digital celluloid) irrespective of the quantity then.
“Home video is just another means of distributing films. In an unjust society where inequality, tribalism, sentiment is the order of the day, SILENCE IS A SIN.
“We wish to set the record straight,film making started in Nigeria 70 years ago.
“NAIJA (Nigeria) is a film, football and oil country. Nigerian movie industry – NAIWOOD, is the right name for the right naija film history.
“We the Progressives in ANTP of the movie industry, irrespective of tribe and religion, wish to be referred with that acronym henceforth, and we mean every word of it.
Signed YOMI FABIYI.”
posted by Tswahg of 9jaceleb