P.M. News (Lagos)

15 March 2002

Nigeria: Nude Actresses Under Attack

Lagos — The new trend of pornography in the Nigerian movie industry has continued to elicit different reactions from both stakeholders in the industry and concerned Nigerians.

While some see it as improvement in the make real business, majority of people have voiced a total condemnation. Entertainment Cafe spoke with producers, actresses and concerned Nigerians on the issue.

Popular reggae musician, Orits Williki vehemently condemned the upsurge of nudity in Nigerian movies. According to him, "my wife can never pose nude for any amount whatsoever. She comes from a good Christian background and all her scripts come to me first. So, if it is a role I find not worthy, she won't act because I have to guide her like my daughter".

Another star actress, Sheri Ilerika, also declared the act is un-African and so, should not be encouraged if the nation wants to attain its desired moral standard. Sheri, the daughter of former star footballer, Haruna Ilerika, declared that no amount of money can make her pose nude in public.

In her words: "despite having a good body shape, I cannot pose nude for any amount of money, not even a million dollars. Those that do so are desperados who are shameless". She implored the federal government to slam a ban on films that portray more of obscenities than correcting social ills.

However, another popular actor, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, was quoted to have supported the trend when the Actors Guild of Nigeria were canvassed to ban the actresses who have made themselves subjects of controversies with their nude pictures.

Bob said he does not see anything wrong in posing nude. The actress, he said, should be left to her conscience to decide what she wants to make out of her life. He said the actresses are mature enough to decide their role to the society whether to add or subtract from the moral decadence.

When contacted on the issue, one of the prominent figures in the new thriving market of nude movies, Sandra Achums, told Entertainment Cafe that she was not interested in talking.

"I am not going to say anything on the issue. In fact, I don't want to speak to the press again about anything. Please don't go and quote me o!" However, one may be tempted to support the trend if one listens to another English movie actor, J.T. Tom West known for his infamous roles in films. According to Tom West, it is only hypocrites who criticise the current in-roads of pornography into Nigerian films. West stated that Nigerians watch foreign films where all sorts of sexually provoking pictures are generously displayed. "How come we are now condemning it when our acts are doing something similar?" he queried.

Shan George's enstranged lover, Okey Bakassi, who himself acted an obscene role with Shan in "All for Winnie," declared that nothing is wrong with nudity, from the artistic point of view, but that from the moral point, it is condemnable. Another fellow who sees the act as irresponsibility is Kunle Akinola, CEO of Demark Prints who specialises in printing of home video jackets and posters. On his part, it is sad that these people are increasing moral decay in the society.

All efforts by the censors board to introduce stiff penalty for producers of nude movies in the country have proved abortive.

Recently, the effort of the National Film and Video Censors Board to ban two films, "Shattered Homes" and "Night Out (Girls For Sale)" marketed by Andy Best Electronics came to nought as the films were pushed into the market with fake seals of approval.

Some members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria have also called for the expulsion of such actresses who they regard as bringing shame and indignity to their profession.

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