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Interview: Emeka Amakeze on Life and Nollywood (part 2)

Written By Chisom A. on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | 9:42 PM

**** continued! BE SURE TO READ PART 1 OF THE INTERVIEW FIRST. Click HERE to read the first part.

NollywoodRave: Everyone is complaining about the “new” Nollywood and the racy scenes and weak storylines. It’s affecting everyone and our actor’s choice of roles. So I want to know if you have hard times choosing a role or if there’s limited work in Nollywood nowadays.
Emeka: There are bound to be complaints when consumers don’t get real worth for their hard earned money! When good story lines are sacrificed on the altar of the so called racy scenes, you certainly won’t expect those jaws dropping moments in films. The racy scenes are mostly the exploitation of upcoming actors who are erroneously made to believe that shooting such scenes is the fastest way of getting to the top! And because there are lots of actors out there who wouldn’t touch such roles with a ten meter long pole, you can see that it certainly affects actor’s choice of roles. If affects me to because I am choosy about the roles I play.

NollywoodRave: When I look at you I see Igbo tradition. I see a lot of the Igbo culture and morals in you. In the recent Nollywood, we rarely see the traditional movies anymore. What’s your view on that?
Emeka: I am proud of my roots as an Igbo man and I truly value our culture and the inherent good morals in them. It pains me deeply that there is a dearth of traditional Igbo movies today because in whatever way those stories are told, they portray the Igbo worldview that no evil goes unpunished and that it is always worth it to be good. They export our culture which goes a long way in affirming our existence as a people to the world outside Igbo land! However, I am confident that traditional Igbo films are bouncing back!

NollywoodRave: I also know that you do screenplay and most of your movies have a traditional message tied to hem. Can we look forward to you bringing back the traditional Nollywood? And when I say traditional, I do not mean the overdone storyline of kings and their rebellious sons. I’m talking about hardcore juju, Patience Ozokwo, Chiwetalu Agu or Pete Edochie kind of films.
Emeka: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I really can relate to what you’re talking about! Firstly, my movies have traditional messages tied to them because I tell our story, African story in our own way! What is an African story without African essence! I tell people that if every lover in India has a dance ensemble as portrayed in their movies, I wonder who will dance for the other or if there would be anything else to do in India apart from dancing for lovers. But it’s a lovely tradition you’re bound to see in their films. What is a Chinese film without Kung fu? I am currently working with some people to make movies that will really tell our stories and portray the essence of our culture.

NollywoodRave: Some stars, like Majid Michel say they would do pornographic scenes if the role was to call for it. I seem to think that covering yourself with a blanket, already sends the message that something is about to go down, but some disagree. I mean, you know Nollywood! So, does making a sex scene so graphic contribute to the realness of acting?
Emeka: Everybody is entitled to their own professional deductions and inclinations. But I tell you, there is no need to be that graphic in Nollywood films unless one is actually shooting a pornographic movie! If the argument goes in favour of going graphic in sex scenes, I wonder why we wouldn’t actually kill people in death scenes or bury actors in burial scenes just to enhance the realness of the acting. My take on that is that this whole graphic sex thing is some filmmaker’s attempt to subscribe to the American concept of, “Sex sells”.

NollywoodRave: Would you ever do a pornographic scene if the role was to call for it?
Emeka: No!

NollywoodRave: How do you pick your movies? What about a movie makes you so drawn to it?
Emeka: When a movie has an enthralling storyline, I pick it and when it is told in a clear and appropriate way, I am so drawn to it. Anything short of that, I will drop it like its hot!

NollywoodRave: So you are an actor, screenwriter and a producer right?
Emeka: By the special grace of God, I am!
NollywoodRave: I know you screenplayed movies like Before God and Man, Maidens and End of the Maidens. Except for those, can you name some other movies you’ve screenplayed or produced?
Emeka: I screen played Palace of Romance, Blind Queen, The Only Secret, Shadow of the Sword, Contract Execution, Royal Command, Pride of a King, By Pass, Father and Gun, Kill my Brother, Pride of a Princess, Royal Honour, Humble Hero, Forbidden Kingdom and a host of others. I produced Cobweb, Nine hours in Hell and Death Valley which will soon be released.

NollywoodRave: Which of your movies, either acted or produced, did you enjoy the most? Why?
Emeka: Brides War! It’s a topical issue told in a very simple and appealing way and most importantly, there was this synergy among all the actors on set and the producer made sure we really had fun shooting it. We really had fun doing that movie!

NollyoodRave: Mr. Emeka, I truly feel that you are one of the few producers that can help Nollywood to maintain its morals. I look forward to movies produced and even written by you, because I am sure that your stories will be 100% Naija and not this useless new “Hollywood” stunt that Nollywood is turning into.
Emeka: Thank you very much! I represent Nollywood and of course, Nigeria and I have no apologies for that. I look forward to making movies that will make us proud to say we are Nigerians!

NollywoodRave: I thank you for taking out time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with me. I love your personality, how you act and the movie choices you make. I do hope to see you take more of the “main guy” roles. So before you leave, are there any new movie projects we can look forward to?

Emeka: With Emeka Amakeze, one can always look forward to amazing things! I am currently working on a number of movie projects both locally and internationally and I can’t wait for the impact they are going to make on the movie scene.

I had a great time with Mr. Emeka. I definitely had a lot of laughs. You have to go check out his movies, its worth your time. For more on Emeka Amakeze, you can follow him on twitter @EmekaAmakeze or on his blog www.streamsong.blogspot.com
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1 comment:

  1. WOW! this is so awesome Mr. Amakaeze. The person who interviewed you seems like he did not like you or didn't want you to be an actor. Anyway I love your movie "Holy City".


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