Premium Times (Abuja)

2 February 2014

Nigeria: Why I Turned Down Nollywood Roles - Nigerian Hollywood Actor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim

In an interview with HipHopWorld, the British-Nigerian, who played George Rutaganda in the Academy Award-nominated movie, Hotel Rwanda, also disclosed ... ( Resource: Meet Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Hollywood actor, Hakeem Kae Kazim, has revealed that he turned down several Nollywood scripts as such scripts did not match his standard.

In an interview with HipHopWorld, the British-Nigerian, who played George Rutaganda in the Academy Award-nominated movie, Hotel Rwanda, also disclosed how director, Obi Emelonye, wooed him over to Nollywood with the script of Last Flight To Abuja.

"I did the TV series called 24, up in Los Angeles, United States, then one Nigerian director I had met at some film festivals said to me, 'Nobody knows you are Nigerian in Nigeria'.

"I was shocked and he said, 'You have to come home and do something'. Then a year and a half later, he presented a script, Inale. It was my first experience coming back into Nigeria and working in Nollywood. And then he said will I come and do his movie; it was Last Flight To Abuja. Again, the reason why I did it was because he was the director and one that is trying to move the Nollywood film experience to a higher level so I wanted to help him do that and so I came back and did Last Flight To Abuja, which was an interesting filming experience," Mr. Kae-Kazim said.

He also noted the discrimination of black actors in Hollywood.

"Yes, there is discrimination in one sort of sense but the major fact is that in Hollywood, whites are the majority there. They are doing their own work and are just telling their own stories from their perspective and most times they just have a person of colour they want to put in as they deem fit. And I think it's up to us to be able to tell our own stories. The most important thing is for the African race both in Hollywood and Nollywood to put together their resources to provide infrastructure and to start a process of telling their own stories so that the stories come from them and by them," he said.

Mr. Kae-Kazim described his experience with Nollywood superstars, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji, as good. He talked about how great it was for him to have come and experienced some of Nigerian talents and hopefully influence the talent and help raise everybody's game.

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