The interim executives of the Actors Guild of Nigeria fighting for the course of the Yoruba race have been inaugurated.
The swearing-in ceremony took place on December 8, 2016, at the Auditorium of The Four Square Gospel Church, St. Finbars’ Road, Akoka- Yaba in Lagos.
The event has the presence of the Agbaki of Nollywood, Chief Yemi Solade, Lepa Shandy, Femi Fadeyi, Aisha Abimbola and Bukky Ogunote amongst others.
The newly inaugurated Excos are Yinka Aiyelokun as Interim Chairman, Skerry Bakre as Vice-Chairman, Tayo Afolayan is Financial Secretary, and Treasurer is Bukky Thomas while Abiola Arowoogun was named the Chief Whip.
The convener is the National Secretary of the AGN, Femi Durojaiye.
At the august meeting, while various speakers bare their minds on the issues at hand, Yemi Solade and Femi Durojaiye were the ones who stole the show with their expositions.
While declaring the gathering formally open and at two other instances, Femi reiterated the fact that the call-up by the thespians of Yoruba descent was for them to join hands and wrestle control of AGN in Lagos State out of the perpetual control of the Ibos.
The call by Yemi was for the guild to have a cooperative outlook, as it’s been done in other movies associations where members help one another. He solicited oneness, that by it, they would not only gain control of the guild in Lagos, their lives would eventually be better for it.
Femi told the Magazine, “No New Chapter is floated. My action was to put in place a legally constituted Lagos State AGN Chapter Interim Exco.
Moreover, the support is strong because, for the first time in the history of AGN Lagos State Chapter, a purposeful Exco that have all the ability to engage government and listened to, for the benefit of all our members in Lagos State is finally in place. This inaugurated Exco will now do the work of a true State Chapter, even as stated in AGN Constitution. It is time to end the poverty and misery of Actors starting from Lagos.”
In his own contribution, Yemi Solade said, “I have come to align with the course of Yoruba actors within the fold of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN.
“Just because this is Lagos state, we are trying to put in place actors of Yoruba extraction who would administer the guild. This is starting from Lagos state and would go through the whole of the South West.
“I have always keyed myself into this project for years. I believe that indigenes should take care of the affairs of the guild and actors in Lagos. That is how it’s been done in other states in Nigeria.
No doubt Lagos state is a Yoruba land, and for years most of us have shied away from the politics of the guild. I don’t know why. But now, we have woken up from our slumber to take the bull by the horn. So, my coming is for the Yoruba course.”
On the possibility that the call for Yoruba leadership of AGN in Lagos might easily cause more division in an already polarized guild, Yemi has this to say, “This doesn’t portend a division in the rank and file of the guild. This is a ‘welfarist’ programme.
“If you look at it from the structure of the AGN, this is a microscopic organisation like in the Nigerian landscape, where you are supposed to have everybody. Then, look at the compositions of our so-called English movies, all you will discover is that actors of Yoruba origin are being short changed.
“If English is Nigeria’s lingua franca, then the Nollywood section of the Actors Guild of Nigeria should belong to all of us. There should be no reason movies shot in English would not have Yoruba actors even if such movies were produced by non-Yorubas.
I have been discriminated against a lot of times. That was why I decided not to ply my trade in that section of the industry. I have been an actor for almost forty years. By February 2017 I would be forty years in the industry. I have done a lot of jobs and I don’t see why I should go to work with a producer that is not Yoruba and he discriminates against me, simply because I am a Yoruba actor. If that is the name of the game, let’s do our own thing. That is what we are saying by our actions. This is just part of the movement to saying that the Yorubas should celebrate themselves.”