Nigeria’s respected and successful movie stars coupled with the industry’s stakeholders who have invested fortunes, talents and years in building the much talked-about Nollywood industry will forever not forgive the person of a France-based self-acclaimed representative and resource person to Nigeria’s movie industry for tarnishing the country’s enviable and the popular brand, Nollywood. Known as Mr. Duru and fondly called Cyprian Josson was trusted to field a team of Nigeria’s professional and talented members of the Nollywood at a students’ forum to sell the country’s rich industry to the international world, rather he displayed a high sense of selfish moves when he organized a semi-demi quashi team of not-too popular movie stars and paraded them at the international forum.
For an industry that has come of age, the expectations of the students was cut short when, during the interactive session, one the students became curious and demanded to know if what she was seeing was the real Nollywood or a kind of child’s play. At this juncture, the organizers, spearheaded by Mr. Duru quickly stage managed a way of convincing the students by saying, “there are two types of Nollywood, the Nollywood of the Old and that of the New”.
The prevailing show of shame became conspicuous to all present as the colours on the eyes of the students portrayed embarrassment, sadness and disappointment, all due to the machinations of Cyprian Josson who instead of reaching out to professionals and stakeholders of Nollywood who have the image and all it takes to represent Nigeria’s image in a foreign land, went ahead to flaunt his greediness by tarnishing the hard earned reputation of the Nollywood industry.
Events leading to the scenario in France began when the programme, tagged “Film for Students Day” was put together by the management of one of France’ Ivy League institutions, Lycee Notre Dame, Chartres, for its students to have a feel of the evolving and much-publicized Nigeria entertainment industry, Nollywood by way of having a mutually beneficial collaboration which indeed, turned out to put Nollywood in bad light.
However, it is known world over that the Nigerian movie industry is reputed to be the world’s second biggest in terms of production quality, scripting, plotting, storyline, movie locations, costuming, economic activities including the general acceptance of her dramatis personae. This ironically was sold so cheap to a gathering of French students in France recently.
The school’s management led by top directors, Marc Tranin and Fredrick Maillard had liaised with one of the teachers, Cyprian Josson who happened to be a Nigerian was trusted to invite top stakeholders in Nollywood from Nigeria with a view to screening a latest and very popular movie for students’ delight.
As a typical Igbo man, Cyprian Josson, whose friends fondly referred to as Duru quickly jumped into action and instead of liaising with stakeholders of repute from Nigeria, he saw an opportunity to bring his friends in, got in touch with some female budding movie producers and not too popular actors in Nigeria to host the show in France.
The school authority, said to be committed to all the trappings of the journey were made to send letters and other administrative papers as demanded by the French embassies but on the usual, balance of probabilities and credibility, the artistes were denied entry visa for the journey.
The desperate Mr. Duru a.k.a Cyprian Josson was confused and instead of perfecting the other end by getting a latest Nollywood movie to screen for the students of Lycee Notre Dame on the day of the event, June 6th, 2017, he decided to contact a friend in the UK and they hurriedly put together an old movie, Bleeding Rose which had late J.T Tom West as the lead actor.
Though, they were able to hoodwink their victims-the school authority and the innocent students by presenting the movie, Bleeding Rose as a latest Nollywood movie shot in 2015, people in the know, especially Mr. Duru’s friends knew a movie that has J.T Tom West as a lead character cannot be less than 15 years because it is a statement of fact that, J.T Tom West died in September 2006 and was buried in October same year.
And as if that was not enough, the picture quality of the movie, plots, setting, costumes and even the age disparity of the actors were far from doing justice to the characteristics of the modern day Nollywood. The movie, Bleeding Rose is equally available on youtube where the likes of Olu Jacobs, Kate Henshaw and late J.T Tom West of then and now could be compared. All the flaws as put together by Duru are so visible, all designed to rubbish the image and corporate status of the movie industry.