pete edochie
pete edochie

Pete Edochie speaks on the call from the censor’s board to ban things like ritual killings, as well as some other problems he currently sees in the industry,

Pete Edochie said:

Situations breed people. When we were young growing up in Zaria, each time we went to watch cowboy movies starring the likes of John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and the rest of them, we would see them rolling tobacco and smoking. Most of my friends did not want to accept that they were rolling tobacco. They thought they were rolling hemp and so they went ahead to enslave themselves with hemp. They were all destroyed. I was part of that team but I didn’t join them in rolling hemp because I knew that that was tobacco. I’ll tell you why I’m using this example now. A lot of people watch our movies. Our movies are intended to be didactic.

There must be a lesson in every movie you watch, it’s what it should be. Whether it is that way now I cannot tell you because I am not in all of them. But you see, you create impossible circumstances for individuals and because they’re frustrated, they decide to experiment with all sorts of nonsense. I watched a lot of films on my way up, it did not influence me negatively. But now when you make it impossible for people to even exist as individuals – I tell you: being a Nigerian is a full time job. Just being a Nigerian. We produce oil, we don’t have fuel.

We became independent in 1960, and between then and now we can’t even supply electricity. Let us tell ourselves the truth, we are not moving forward. Then you look at the young men with all their education, you create impossible circumstances for them. And the moment you find out you have some fine brains and you’re not using them properly, you tilt towards the left, that is criminality. It happens all the time.

Not only in Nigeria. In every other advanced clime, I can tell you that. So it is our intention to make sure we spotlight the ills of society and let people beware in whatever they’re doing. Some people certainly feel that ‘okay, this is the best way to get along’ forgetting that what we are doing is spotlighting the evils in society. They now decide to go that way, that’s the wrong direction. But I tell you, I’m totally in support of banning that aspect of our production if it will improve our society.

What I think is mainly wrong with many of our productions is sound. Our audio quality needs to be improved upon. We are doing marvelously well in Nollywood. The government does not employ as many people as Nollywood employs. We’re being recognized all over the world today. There’s hardly any part of the world Pete Edochie is not known and it gives me a lot of joy.

Culture also plays a significant role. We try as much as possible to reflect culture in whatever we do but sometimes, the young stars decide to experiment and in so doing, they stultify some of our values. For example, if a girl goes on her knee to present drink to the man who will be her husband, he is compelled to accept that cup and drink from that cup.

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Pete Edochie

That is the marriage. If he picks the cup and pours away the drink, he’s not married to that girl and sometimes, you see that kind of nonsense in our production. That is very painful. A lot of our young men don’t even understand our culture and they try to reflect it in what they do. Sometimes you find a king going to make overtures to a girl, that is not what it ought to be. If I’m an igwe and I want to get married, I don’t have to let my other wife know that I’m going to get married. No, it’s my prerogative as the king to take wife from anywhere.

The king would just say I’ve seen a beautiful girl, go talk to the father, that’s all. And it’s a joy that she’s going to be identified with the king, and that is all. In those days, if the king was having an ofala and you came with a beautiful woman, if the king points at that woman, you’ve lost her. She becomes his wife. That is the culture then. But today, we misrepresent our culture and I don’t feel too happy about it. I remember in one production I saw my very good friend Olu trying as much as possible to get close to Chioma Chukwuka, a wife that was procured for him. He had to engage people to hold her. That is not our culture. You don’t require assistance to experiment with your wife. So sometimes we go too far in being silly but ordinarily, we should do our best to put our culture across and the government shouldn’t hesitate to be of assistance if we go to produce.

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