Actors Guild Of Nigeria Is Here To Stay-Yemi Oyez (Mrs.)
Could you give us a peek into your background?
Yemi Oyez (Mrs) is my name. I am the first of the 6 children in the family of late Samuel Omotosho Alabi. I was raised in the NEPA quarters of the Kainji power station and had my early education in the NEPA educational institutions. Secondary education was at St Clare's Girls Grammar School, Offa and tertiary education for me began at the Kwara State Polytechnic Ilorin.
Nollywood is 20 years old. What has been the achievement of the Kwara AGN?
The motion pictures industry in Nigeria, the Nollywood is 20years old but the Actors Guild of Nigeria was formed in 1997. From inception, the AGN has been at the core of promoting acting as a profession, developing the codified body of ethics available for the regulation of the profession in Nigeria and above all, enhancing the welfare of professionals.
Over the years of existence in Nigeria, the AGN, mind you, affiliated to the Actors Guild world wide has been led by several Nigerian movie stars. The incumbent president, Ibinabo Fiberesima has been expanding the frontiers of career developing opportunities available to both the established actors and budding professionals. In summary, I can affirm that the AGN has been a catalyst in the rapid development witnessed in Nollywood the last decade.
Theatre is a glamorous business, how come the Kwara AGN or its local members are not visible on the celebrity circuit?
With your phrase “not visible”, you have indeed captured the situation of Kwara AGN members rightly. In July 2013, the national exco of the AGN appointed me as Sole Administrator of the Kwara Chapter. The appellation Sole Administrator let you conclude aptly that things have hitherto not been as it should be in the Kwara chapter of AGN.
On assumption of office, I found the chapter has been subjected to an era of stunted growth which is characterized by avarice and executive rascality in a purposeless leadership who lacks credibility and legitimacy having over stayed a six month interim caretaker tenure which expired since 2009. One disturbing feature of this era was the lack of any known corporate secretariat for the Kwara chapter in Ilorin.
The members got disenchanted with the contraption remaining of their professional body which was managed from the mobile portfolio of the self styled chairman. Naturally, membership dwindled and with time paled into nothingness. The quality of career props gotten by AGN members in other states was not here and the situation can best be described as every man to himself.
This was why with her executive fiat, Ibinabo Fiberesima appointed a Sole Administrator for Kwara State as in other ailing chapters.
Since I came on board, we have been able to bring back to the fold as many of the lost members as possible through a membership revalidation exercise designed from the national secretariat and implemented by us here.
And for the first time in a decade, Kwara AGN was part of the members acting skill training and retraining program which came up in Niger state early this month. This is another nice beginning in my opinion.
How are Kwara actors faring in the English movies?
I like to comment here that Kwara state has a string of top rate thespians in every conceivable sector of the industry. What have been lacking are common fronts to show case our world class talents at the home front. This common front I dare say is what we are working hard at building now. It will engender professionalism in our budding talents as well as provide a rich pool of mentors for aspiring talents.
What are the challenges being faced by the Guild?
Numerous. First is the after effect of a visionless first two decades. We have to grapple with challenges that had been surmounted by sister chapters a decade or more ago. This leaves our chapter alone to grapple with these as compared to the relative advantages inherent in pooling resources with other sister chapters to solve common problems.
To my knowledge, some chapters have begun long ago to develop film villages and have begun to reap the dividends of their visions. Of course funding comes to the fore as well.
May I also mention here that not heeding to the long time clamor to seek the financial assistance of the sate government is borne out of my conviction that we need to do more to keep the AGN Kwara in a shape I would be proud to present to my governor.
Are there any laudable projects the Kwara AGN is involved with currently?
Yes, we are currently getting to the final stages of the preliminary work towards a films village and AGN Kwara secretariat. Permit me as I like to keep the information as intact as our Public Relations consultants advised we do.
What should we look forward to from AGN Kwara in the near future?
AGN has come to stay in Kwara and viewers of our local TV stations can look forward to AGN produced soap operas, talent hunts, Acting Skill development workshops and seminars. It's endless.
With you busy schedule and travelling, how do you unwind?
Unwinding? Hmmn, a quiet evening with my hubby and kids in front of the TV, you know with a glass of my favorite fruit juice while telling them all I saw on my trips . Nothing beats this for me
Keep on keeping on! »
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