Ali Baba, veteran standup comedian, has reacted to filmmaker, Femi Ogedengbe who recently made headlines after it was revealed he is currently working as a security guard in the United States of America.
In a post on his instagram page, he wrote:
“First off, let me say, my respect for this guy cant be measured right now. He has blown me away with his handling of the realities in his life. Some people know how to get through life, while others let life get to them. This is a man who put his ego and fame to the back, and faced reality. TO MAKE A BETTER LIFE FOR HIS FAMILY AND HIMSELF. He did not believe the hype. You see, that is exactly the kind of society we are in. Someone who is doing an honest job is vilified and castigated. Even mocked. Just to drive traffic. Then those who are involved in Yahoo Yahoo, kidnapping, 419, looting and taking loans from banks and refusing to pay back are celebrated. Think about it. Would we really have been happier if he was famous and his kids couldn’t feed? Or was thrown out of his apartment because he couldn’t pay rent? Would we have been ok seeing him jump Okada and keke napep? We like to see people who are famous LOOKING RICH. Doesn’t matter how they do it. That’s pressure. Major pressure. That’s why people are forced to steal, turn to prostitution, carry drugs, go into politics and Rob the country blind… because our yardstick for measuring success is flawed to the floor. We only respect thieves. The undergraduate who works at a car wash during holidays is a loser. The one that decides to work as a bar tender or fuel pump attendant is a waste. The only ones that count are the ones that turn up and slay. They dont need to be working. Just twerking and colour blocking is all they need to do. Nollywood is a make believe world. That’s why many who jump in get frustrated because they missed the memo. Its a huge labour of Love. @ajokesilva told me, when I consulted her for what I should charge to do TWP1, “Ali, its not like your MCee work ooo! It’s a labour of love. We do it for the art and heart”. So I was on set for a whole month for what I charge in 4 hours. Most of the lifestyles you see in Nollywood is not supported by the fees for roles played. They earn the money for that life style elsewhere. Yes you become famous. The money from the role can not get you a Rolls. A chanel bag is 1.6m. How many movies you wan act to buy am? Wetin I sabi sef?”
Ali baba replied to fan; “This is so not true. At one edition of #AlibabasSpontaneity, at the Muson, I have overhead @k8henshaw advising a young actress before who said I want to be like you… if I can paraphrase, she told her it was not easy. That the sacrifice and work to make it was tough and that she should work hard and be good at it. It will come… (not the way she put it but that is the gist) After Kate had taken pictures with the young lady and gone up, the lady that brought her to introduce to Kate, saw the look on her face and she told her, “Ma daloun… it’s tough and she is carrying expensive bag. Don’t mind her”. That was when I stepped in and spent few minutes and I broke it down for both of them. I knew I wad barking up the wrong tree. Because after all I said, the chaperone said, “But she is not suppose to be discouraging people naaa”. At that point, I agreed with her. You are so right. I told her and walked off. It was clear that the success and fame of the frontliners in Nollywood is drawing people to the business for the wrong reasons. They just want to blow. Hot air, maybe. Because the busiest amongst the frontliners does say 6 movies in a year (That’s pushing it ooo). Let’s for the sake of argument say N3m per movie (some frontliners even do 500k). That’s about N24m. How much is house rent? Cost of feeding? How much is spent on clothes? On shoes and accessories? Children upkeep and fees? Staff? (P.A. Househelp. Driver. Maiguard. PR) Uber or Taxify? Car or cars? Calls and Internet? DSTV? ELECTRICITY? WATER? FAMILY obligations? Fans? Pet Projects and Charity? What about replacement of stolen or broken phones?… The good side to all of these is that when one of the movies come out, over 80 million of the 200m Nigerians will see it. That does not translate to cash in the frontliners pocket. Then you can also add the damage of pirates. The pirates will make over N200m from that movie and then balance and wait for the next movie. Sometimes some actors and actresses can wait for 6 months before the next script will land on their tables. I know of actors who then decide to take any role for less than they would normally ask for, just to remain in the view of the public.”