Support film industry, says veteran Nollywood star


Veteran Nollywood star, Charles Okafor, has called on the private sector in the country and other institutions to support the film industry.

Okafor, who arrived in Malawi last week for religious engagements and was expected to leave for Nigeria yesterday, said the film industry should not be neglected as it has potential to propel development in the country.

Okafor said the economy of Nigeria has benefited a lot from the film industry.


“Today, Nollywood is big and is known all over the world. Our films are invited to most of the film festivals in the world. I, therefore, plead with the private sector and other institutions in Malawi to come to the aid of the film industry,” Okafor said.

The veteran star also said that, everywhere in the world include in Hollywood, filmmaking is not funded by the government but the private sector.

“The government just creates an enabling environment so that, if you want to bring high definition equipment, the government can assist in rebids or tax holidays so that the equipment can be affordable,” Okafor said.


He said the private sector has a duty to help build the film industry in the country which has made strides despite being in its infancy.

Malawi has seen several filmmakers coming up and one of those who have excelled is Shemu Joyah, whose movies have won several awards at international festivals.

Joyah, who is out with his third movie, The Road to Sunrise, wants to do a John Chilembwe movie as part of telling his story but also preserving history.

The drawback, as usual, is funding.

Okafor revealed that, in Nigeria, over 500,000 people are employed permanently and temporarily every year through Nollywood and that this can happen in Malawi.

On his success in filmmaking, Okafor, who studied theatre arts, said his secret is training.

“My advice to filmmakers, actors and actresses in the country is that they should keep on working hard, training and should have the hunger to train. You also need to respect your gift and check what area you can find your core competence.

“Actually, I should tell you here that my father did not bless me in the first place until later. With my brothers and sisters reading other professional courses, I was the only one who opted for theatre arts and, for my father, theatre arts was for a bunch of irresponsible boys and girls,” Okafor said.

He, however, worked hard and found himself on television through his teacher, who saw potential in him and that is how he got blessings from his father when he was in his second year at the University of Port Harcourt.

“Reach out for excellence and walk towards excellence,” he said.

Some of the movies that Okafor has starred in are 93 Days, Test of Kindness and Smooth Operator.

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