How many English movies have you done ?
Very few. The reason is simple, I don’t get many invitations. I cannot speak for those people that did not invite me ,they have their personal reasons and I don’t want to go into it so much, but I am sure if am invited as we are conversing now, I can express myself and I can interpret roles in English. Why they don’t invite me is left to them.“
But I saw Jide Kosoko in a film by Rita Dominic ‘Damage’ and in several other English films ?
Yea , Jide Kosoko do normally features in English movies and I must confess to you, if you come to me and you want to pay 1 million naira for an English film and I have another script of Yoruba movie that wants to pay me 200,000 naira , I will go for the Yoruba film. The reason for it is simple, my culture and my language are more important to me than money. What is most important to me as an African is the promotion of my culture.
There is this saying that Nigerian film industry started with ‘Living in Bondage’ and you have been saying that history is not correct?
It’s a lie. If they say the film industry started in 1992 with ‘Living in Bondage’, what happened to the films shot before then. I shot my first film on celluloid in 1985, the second one in 1987. Whether English or native, a movie is a movie. A Nigerian movie is a Nigerian movie. We own Nollywood together. If they want to mention Nollywood all over the country, they would say Nigerian movies. Forget about the medium of expression whether its Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba , or English. They know the right history, they know it. Wole Soyinka shot Kongi Harvest in 1970. Bisi Daughter of the River is there . Abiola’s film, ‘Dinner With The Devil’ is there. How can they say film industry started in 1992.
So, what do you think brought about this distortion?
It is their style. I called their production people and told them. If they invite Yoruba actor, to take part in their movie, they would say the accent is too Yoruba. What is their own accent? Don’t they sound Ibo in their own movies? What is their problem?